JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --
Alaska Air National Guard Col. Julie Gration succeeded Col. Richard Rymerson as 176th Medical Group commander during a Feb. 28 ceremony at Joint Base Elemdorf-Richardson.
The 176th Medical Group is a group of military health professionals primarily responsible for the force health management, individual medical readiness and performance enhancement of the operational and support personnel of the 176th Wing. They also oversee and manage the biological, chemical and radiation hazards of the environments in which they operate.
Gration was promoted from lieutenant colonel to colonel immediately before the change of command.
Presiding officer and commander of 176th Wing, Col. Anthony Stratton, placed Gration’s career achievements into context.
“Less than 8 percent of our officers attain the rank of colonel,” he said. “So it’s a big deal.”
Rymerson will transfer to a new position with the 150th Special Operations Wing headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. Stratton thanked him for his 13 years of service to the wing during which he commuted from his home in Colorado.
Gration has served in all three components of the Air Force — Regular Air Force, Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard. She acknowledged all three services were represented at the ceremony and said she anticipates a continuation of the fruitful partnership with the Regular Air Force’s 673d Medical Group.
“I look forward to our organizations working together to provide a seamless, healthy partnership,” she said.
Gration lauded Airmen of the group for their recent accomplishments supporting a wing of 1,500 Guardsmen and representing five weapons systems.
She said a few of the unit’s accomplishments included three Innovative Readiness Training missions in Alaska villages and Lower 48 communities as well as hurricane relief efforts, which helped more than 10,000 people.
“Your medical care and services ensure our Wingmen are able to perform their duties — whether on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan or here performing rescues in the state of Alaska,” she said.
Gration said the group will continue to provide able medical support to the wing.
“As a team, we will continue to meet challenges as opportunities to provide world-class medical care and support around the globe,” she said. “We will continue to forge ahead and stand ready for when our great state of Alaska and nation call upon us.”