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New 607th Support Squadron commander Lt. Col. Mark A. Aicher, right, accepts the guidon from Col. Edward Acevedo, commander of the 607th Air Support Group. At center is Master Sgt. Robert Gordon.

New 607th Support Squadron commander Lt. Col. Mark A. Aicher, right, accepts the guidon from Col. Edward Acevedo, commander of the 607th Air Support Group. At center is Master Sgt. Robert Gordon. (Brian Watson / Courtesy of U.S. Air Force)

New 607th Support Squadron commander Lt. Col. Mark A. Aicher, right, accepts the guidon from Col. Edward Acevedo, commander of the 607th Air Support Group. At center is Master Sgt. Robert Gordon.

New 607th Support Squadron commander Lt. Col. Mark A. Aicher, right, accepts the guidon from Col. Edward Acevedo, commander of the 607th Air Support Group. At center is Master Sgt. Robert Gordon. (Brian Watson / Courtesy of U.S. Air Force)

Air Force Lt. Col. Michael E. Pelletier makes farewell remarks Wednesday at the end of his two-year tour as commander of 607th Support Squadron at Taegu Air Base, South Korea.

Air Force Lt. Col. Michael E. Pelletier makes farewell remarks Wednesday at the end of his two-year tour as commander of 607th Support Squadron at Taegu Air Base, South Korea. (Brian Watson / Courtesy of U.S. Air Force)

PYONGTAEK, South Korea — The U.S. Air Force squadron that supports an Army special operations helicopter unit at Taegu Air Base, South Korea, got a new leader Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Mark A. Aicher (pronounced eye-ker) assumed command of the 607th Support Squadron during a half-hour change-of-command ceremony at the base, also known widely as K-2 Air Base.

Aicher replaces Lt. Col. Michael E. Pelletier, who commanded the squadron since June 2003. The squadron commander’s position is a two-year tour. Pelletier moves to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where he will be deputy group commander of the 412th Maintenance Group.

Aicher’s previous assignment was with the Defense Logistics Agency at Fort Belvoir, Va.

The 607th Support Squadron provides day-to-day airfield support to the Army’s Company E, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). The unit’s MH-47E Chinook heavy assault helicopters and aircrews can transport Green Berets, Navy SEALs and other special operations forces to and from combat missions at night and in bad weather.

In the case of war on the peninsula, the squadron’s mission also would include rapidly converting K-2 to a wartime footing.

The U.S. military operates from a compound at K-2, which is a South Korean air force base and also site of commercial Taegu Airport.

The 607th Support Squadron commander also serves as installation commander of the U.S. compound, which houses the squadron’s 93 airmen and the Army’s Company E.

During Wednesday’s ceremony, Pelletier told the squadron: “I have been honored by the experience to lead you, and believe I learned much more from you than you from me. … To the ‘Bulldogs’ of the 607th Support Squadron, I wish you all best of luck and Godspeed.”

At an earlier point in his remarks, he thanked his wife and daughter, in part for their “understanding of the military lifestyle and the sacrifices it demands at times. … They put up with long hours, missed meals, interrupted evenings and my occasional venting but they never complained. This job would have been much more difficult without their love and understanding.”

Aicher in his remarks told the squadron, “We have a very important mission. … The next two years promise to be busy, exciting and challenging.”

Aicher entered the Air Force in 1985 after graduating as a distinguished graduate from Officer’s Training School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in human resource management from Central Michigan University. He graduated from the Air Command and Staff College in 1997 and the Air War College in 2003.


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