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Calabro succeeds Radford as 176th Operations Group commander

Alaska Air National Guard Col. Matthew Calabro succeeds Col. Kenneth Radford as 176th Mission Support Group commander .

Alaska Air National Guard Col. Matthew Calabro succeeds Col. Kenneth Radford as 176th Mission Support Group commander during a Nov. 8 change-of-command ceremony at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Calabro was recently the vice commander of the 176th Wing. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Robles/Released)

Alaska Air National Guard Col. Matthew Calabro succeeds Col. Kenneth Radford as 176th Mission Support Group commander .

Alaska Air National Guard Col. Matthew Calabro (left) succeeds Col. Kenneth Radford as 176th Mission Support Group commander during a Nov. 8 change-of-command ceremony at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Calabro was recently the vice commander of the 176th Wing. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Robles/Released)

Alaska Air National Guard Col. Matthew Calabro succeeds Col. Kenneth Radford as 176th Mission Support Group commander .

Alaska Air National Guard Col. Kenneth Radford salutes Col. Anthony Stratton, 176th Wing commander, signifying relinquishment of command of 176th Operations Group to Col. Matthew Calabro during a Nov. 8 ceremony at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Normally, relinquishing command is signified by passing of the unit guidon, but COVID-19 measures precluded the tradition. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Robles/Released)

Alaska Air National Guard Col. Matthew Calabro succeeds Col. Kenneth Radford as 176th Mission Support Group commander .

Alaska Air National Guard Col. Kenneth Radford, outgoing 176th Operations Group commander, addresses the command for the last time during a Nov. 8, 2020 ceremony at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Col. Matthew Calabro replaced Radford as the new group commander. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Robles/Released)

Alaska Air National Guard Col. Matthew Calabro succeeds Col. Kenneth Radford as 176th Mission Support Group commander .

Alaska Air National Guard 176th Wing commander, Col. Anthony Stratton (right) presents a Legion of Merit citation to Col. Kenneth Radford (left) thanking him for his command of the 176th Operations Group during a ceremony at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Nov. 8, 2020. Col. Matthew Calabro replaced Radford as the new Operations Group commander. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Robles/Released)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --

Alaska Air National Guard Col. Matthew Calabro succeeded Col. Kenneth Radford as the 176th Operations Group commander during a ceremony here, Nov. 8.

The group provides wartime and peacetime mission support of deployment operations, combat search and rescue, air control, rescue coordination, and strategic airlift for the 176th Wing.

During the ceremony, Radford was presented with the Legion of Merit. The award citation highlighted the 176th OG’s efforts under his command. Under Radford’s leadership, the group saved 159 lives during rescue missions, deployed dozens of Airmen to Iraq, Africa, and other nations, and provided strategic airlift assistance after hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Florence.

Radford lauded the group’s Airmen for their hard work and camaraderie.

“Having the opportunity to serve as the operations group commander has been the greatest honor of my professional life,” he said. “The members of this group really embraced esprit de corps. Thank you for innovating, taking care of each other, and for making this a place I looked forward to working at every day.”

Radford will assume duties as the 176th Wing vice commander, a position most recently held by Calabro.

Calabro thanked his past coworkers and discussed the important steps forward for the group.

“Leaders at all levels must train to make quality decisions at the speed necessary for competition,” he said. “To the men and women of the 176th Operations Group, thank you for your sacrifice and your ability to make the impossible possible. When the rest of the DoD ventures north, they will look to us for guidance.”

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