Misawa's 35th Fighter Wing welcomes new commander
August 27, 2008
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — The 35th Fighter Wing welcomed a new leader to its fold with the arrival of Col. David R. Stilwell.
In a change-of-command ceremony staged in Hangar 949 on a rainy Monday morning, Stilwell took the wing’s reins from Col. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy.
O’Shaughnessy bid farewell to his airmen and to local Japanese leaders and friends after 19 months as base commander.
The mission, people and community "make Misawa a truly special place," O’Shaughnessy said, choking up and pausing briefly. "I thank all of you for the honor to be your commander."
Lt. Gen. Edward Rice, U.S. Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force commander, decorated O’Shaughnessy with the Legion of Merit Award.
Rice highlighted, among other accomplishments during O’Shaughnessy’s tenure, the wing’s high marks on an Operational Readiness Inspection and a 25 percent reduction in alcohol-related and other incidents involving base personnel in 2007.
Rice also gave a warm welcome to Stilwell, noting the colonel has an advanced degree in Asian studies and graduated at the top of his pilot training class.
Stilwell is no stranger to the Pacific region. He served as the Pacific Air Forces Demonstration pilot while previously stationed at Misawa and did tours at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea and at U.S. Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii, according to Rice.
"It is great to be back," Stilwell said.
Stilwell most recently commanded the 57th Adversary Tactics Group, 57th Wing, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
At Misawa, he’ll command more than 4,000 personnel, spread throughout two F-16 fighter squadrons and 35 support agencies. His duties also include overseeing a base of about 13,000, including family members.
O’Shaughnessy next will command the 613th Air and Space Operations Center for 13th Air Force at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.