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SAFB gets new commander for 82nd Training Wing

Brig. Gen. Lyle K. Drew takes the rein
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 1:05 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Thursday morning at Sheppard Air Force proved to be a time of celebration as well as reflection for the 82nd Training Wing.

“This is what it’s all about. You look out here among the sea of blue and this just inspires you. This is who we are. We are turning out combat capability every single day,” Brig. Gen Kenyon Bell said. “I’m thankful today. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to lead this wing.”

For General Bell, who has served as the wing’s commander for the last two years, it was the last time he addressed the ‘sea of blue’ before passing the reins to Brigadier General Lyle K. Drew.

“We need to find new and innovative and innovative ways to improve how we train and develop the next generation of American airmen,” General Drew said.

General Drew, the former Director of Staff at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, will spend the next two months “observing and learning” and continue the groundwork laid out by General Bell.

“We’re going to build rapport, we’re going to build trust, we’re going to build trust because that’s what builds great teams,” General Drew said.

For the two men, who have known each other for over a decade, the day was emotional in different ways. But, what it ultimately boiled down to was one friend passing the torch to the next.

“Combat capability starts here. It’s the banner in which you enter this installation. It’s the motto we call home and what we hold ourselves near and dear to,” General Bell said.

And, what was made clear was that the changing of command isn’t a replacement, it’s a transition. A transition that’s pushing the same goal of the 82nd Training Wing and Sheppard forward.

“Combat capability starts here,” General Drew said. “Always aim high.”

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