JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --
Alaska Air National Guard Col. Anthony Stratton took command of the 176th Wing during a Dec. 8, 2019, change-of-command ceremony at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Stratton took the reins from Brig. Gen. Darrin Slaten who is transitioning to a senior level-position with the federal military.
The 176th Wing conduct several missions including combat search and rescue, civil search and rescue, strategic and tactical airlift, as well as air defense in support of NORAD.
Stratton, a decorated command pilot with nearly 5,000 flight hours, started his career more than 31 years ago in the wing as a propulsion specialist and most recently served as the commander of the 176th Maintenance Group.
Brig. Gen. Scott A. Howard, the assistant adjutant general and commander, Alaska Air National Guard, presided over the ceremony.
Howard referenced a Character in Action article from the Journal of Air and Space Power where the authors describe six virtues of character: wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence.
“I have seen each of these virtues in Darrin's leadership and he truly leaves the 176th Wing better than he found it,” he said. “As we transition today, we are very fortunate to have another officer with the same exceptional character and competence in Col. Tony Stratton, and I have no doubt that he can take the wing to the next level in that evolution.”
Howard spoke directly to the wing members letting them know they are the lifeblood of the organization.
“You — every individual Guard member — are and always have been the core, the key, the foundation of the Alaska Air National Guard’s success,” he said. “I look forward to what Colonel Stratton and all of you will accomplish in the coming years, and I know he will lead the 176th Wing with distinction.”
Stratton also explained how taking care of wing members will ensure they take care of the mission.
“I am going to make sure the Airmen are resourced and taken care of, [so together] we can ensure this wing exists strategically into the future,” he said.
Stratton, a longtime Alaska resident, underscored the importance of recruiting talented individuals from the community into the wing.
”We are an Alaskan community-based organization, and I have 165 positions that we need to fill with Alaskans because Alaskan’s know what Alaskans need,” he said. “We will give you the opportunity to give back in your community.”
Stratton conveyed his thoughts about the wing’s purpose.
“Ultimately we as warriors serve our community,” the new commander said. “The community knows that we are always ready, always there and always will be.”