Durham to lead Dover AFB’s reserve wing

 

Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr. (left), 4th Air Force commander, passes the 512th Airlift Wing guidon to Col. D. Scott Durham, Aug. 1 during a change of command ceremony on Dover Air Force Base.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Mercedes Crossland)

Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr. (left), 4th Air Force commander, passes the 512th Airlift Wing guidon to Col. D. Scott Durham, Aug. 1 during a change of command ceremony on Dover Air Force Base.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Mercedes Crossland)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE — Col. D. Scott Durham assumed command of the 512th Airlift Wing in a ceremony Saturday inside an aircraft hangar at Dover Air Force Base.

The colonel’s previous assignment was at the Pentagon, where he served as the deputy director for mobilization in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.

Col. Durham replaces Col. Raymond A. Kozak, who bids farewell to the Liberty Wing to take a position as the commander of the 349th Air Mobility Wing, Travis Air Force Base, California.

Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr., 4th Air Force commander, March Air Reserve Base, California, was the officiating officer for the change of command.

“You’re a combat veteran with operations and Pentagon experience,” said Maj. Gen. Flournoy when addressing the audience about Col. Durham’s career. “These elements make him the perfect choice to lead the 512th. He’s an officer, an aviator and a family man.”

Col. Durham’s wife and three children had remained in the Dover area while he served abroad. During his speech, the former 512th Operations Group commander expressed gratitude for being able to rejoin the 512th Airlift Wing.

“It’s been a quick two years since I left for the Pentagon,” he said. “It was an amazing journey, but it’s great to be home.”

Hundreds of Dover dignitaries and airmen aligned in formation joined Col. Durham’s family in witnessing him receive the wing’s guidon. The military tradition of passing the organizational flag symbolizes the passing of responsibility and authority to the new commander, a gesture which historically aided troops in knowing who to dedicate their loyalty and trust.

“We’ve come a long way since the 18th century, when troops may not have known who their commander is,” said Col. Durham. “I guarantee you, I’ll be out there. You’ll know who I am.”

Col. Durham is a command pilot with more than 4,900 flight hours. He now has charge of a 1,700-person organization, which supports Air Mobility Command’s worldwide airlift mission, operating C-5 and C-17 aircraft.

Master Sgt. Veronica Aceveda of the U.S. Air Force

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