Slaten takes command of 176th Operations Group Published Aug. 24, 2014 By Staff Sgt. N. Alicia Halla 176th Wing Public Affairs JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- A new commander took the reins of the 176th Operations Group at a change of command ceremony here Aug. 23. Col. Darrin Slaten began his career with the Army in 1987 and joined the Alaska Air National Guard in 1998. After a four-year tour at the Air National Guard Readiness Center on Andrews Air Force Base, Md., he recently returned to the 176th Wing. "I was looking forward to coming back and joining the team," Slaten said after the ceremony, where he succeeded Col. Blake Gettys. Slaten's top focus for the 176 OG is to provide combat-ready forces to the combatant commander. "The great thing about this job is these airmen are already focused on combat training," Slaten said. "Col. Gettys already has them running at a high level. I just have to keep up with them." Gettys moves to a position of greater responsibility as the Director of Operations for the Alaska National Guard.