Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TOP STORY >> New 913th AG commander

Maj. Gen. John Stokes, commander of the 22nd Air Force at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., installed Col. Christopher Lay commander of the 913th Airlift Group during a ceremony June 3 at Little Rock Air Force Base.

Lay replaced Col. Craig Drescher, who commanded the 913 AG from April 2015 until July 2016. Col. Anthony Brusca, the group’s vice commander, has been in charge since Drescher’s departure.

The 913th Airlift Group is an Air Force Reserve unit at Little Rock Air Force Base.

The six squadrons and group staff include nearly 460 people. Approximately 80 of the group’s personnel are traditional reservists who at a minimum perform duty one weekend each month and two weeks during the year.

The group’s personnel are mostly from central Arkansas.

In his acceptance speech, Lay noted the many mission and aircraft changes the group has undergone since first being activated in July 2014, and he recognized members for their dedication during the unpredictable times.

“The airmen I’ve talked with are eager to contribute and ready to answer our Air Force’s call,” he said. “The 913th has had a long-period of uncertainty, but we’ve now been charged with a clear and important mission. I’m excited to be joining the 913th Airlift Group at such a key moment as we strive to become a combat C-130 Airlift Group.”

Lay said his priorities were his people and the group’s mission.

“I want the 913th Airlift Group to be a combat-focused organization known for taking care of its airmen while expertly accomplishing its assignment. I expect us to be able to accomplish this and expect our leadership team to remain focused on that which is most important: Our mission and our airmen,” he said.

The Reserve Group, which is associated with the 19th Airlift Wing, will continue to work closely with their active-duty counterparts, according to Lay.

“I look forward to identifying opportunities to partner with our base counterparts,” he said. “I’m a strong proponent of synergistic training.”

Lay was previously assigned to the Pentagon.

The 913th Airlift Group recently completed the group’s first readiness exercise, Prime Horizon, since its activation in 2014.

The four-day exercise evaluated the group’s ability to move assets between two locations in preparation for real-world deployments or missions.

Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., was used as the forward location during the exercise, since the 403rd Reserve Wing at Keesler supports C-130J aircraft and could assist in the event of mechanical issues during the exercise.