Commander of newly reactivated wing ready to lead unit she helped build
September 6, 2008
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — The commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s newly reactivated 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing said she is looking forward to leading the unit that she played a pivotal role in putting together.
Air Force Col. Kimberly Corcoran, who assumed command of the 521st during a ceremony at Ramstein’s massive Hangar 5 on Wednesday afternoon, got involved in the administrative side of reactivating the wing in April 2006.
"I can hardly believe it’s finally here. We worked so hard to get it here," Corcoran said during the ceremony.
Corcoran’s superiors praised her leadership skills and said she is the perfect person to head the new wing.
"My bet is she will hit the ground at full speed," Air Force Brig. Gen. Timothy Zadalis said.
The wing’s mission is to supply logistical support to Air Mobility Command by servicing aircraft and loading and offloading transports planes. AMC activated a similar wing, the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, on June 5.
"It’s phenomenal — I never expected to command it," Corcoran said after the ceremony. "I think of our air mobility squadrons as stagecoach shops."
The unit has been deactivated and reactivated several times since World War II.
According to the Air Force, about 1,800 personnel are assigned to the wing. They will support flights at Ramstein; Aviano Air Base, Italy; Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany; Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall, England; and other bases in Europe and the Middle East.
Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes
Brig. Gen. Timothy Zadalis, commander of the 21st Expeditionary Mobilty Task Force, and Col. Kimberly Corcoran, commander of the newly activated 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, unfurl the wing’s colors at its activation ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Thursday.