IWAKUNI MARINE CORPS AIR STATION, Japan — Col. Michael A. Dyer assumed command of Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station from Col. David T. Darrah at a change-of-command ceremony last week.

Since July 2002, Dyer served in Okinawa as the inspector, Marine Corps Bases Japan and Camp Butler.

He’s flown more than 5,000 hours in various types of aircraft; his decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals and Navy Achievement Medal.

He is married to Lisa S. Dyer of Elgin, Ill.

Coinciding with the command change, Darrah took his last flight as a military aviator and base commander.

Since June 1976, he’s logged 5,875 hours in military aircraft including more than 1,000 hours in C-12s at Iwakuni.

He’s also flown A-4s and taught in T-28s and T-34s.

However, Darrah calls himself “a helo guy by trade” and often recalls his hours in the CH-46.

Darrah, selected for command and assigned to Iwakuni in March 2001, said leaving is “very bittersweet — giving up the reins. I’ll miss the challenge of command. I really love it. … I really enjoy what I’m doing.”

In his final year before retirement, he’ll work at the Pentagon for the Department of Aviation with friend Lt. Gen. Michael Hough.

Darrah’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and three Meritorious Service Medals.

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