New SAFB wing commander looks to the future

Col. Orgeron knows how important it is to train the next generation.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - A ceremony was held Friday morning at Sheppard Air Force Base where retiring Col. Robert Haas relinquished command to Col. Brad Orgeron, who will now take over the 80th Flying Training Wing.

Out of his 23 years of flying, Orgeron said his favorite part is the opportunity to work with airmen and with the foundation that Haas laid before him, he is looking to build on the success the 80th Flying Training Wing already has.

“Successful program is already in place and we will just do our best to listen to the folks on the ground and provide leadership where it is needed,” Orgeron said.

Orgeron knows how important it is to train the next generation, and as the new commander of the 80th Flying Training Wing, he is ready to hit the skies.

READ: Retiring SAFB wing commander reflects on career

“These are all going to be future leaders, in not only the United States Air Force but our partner nations,” Orgeron said. “That trust they develop as they go through training together will only contribute to our nation’s success as we have future combat operations.”

But this wouldn’t be possible without a right-hand man, which is why he appointed Sgt. William Ford, someone familiar with SAFB, as his command chief.

“Almost to the day, I was here 23-years-ago as a trainee myself on the maintenance side of the house, so coming back here is pretty surreal,” Ford said. “Col. Orgeron giving me the opportunity to come here and be his command chief is truly humbling and an instant honor to be here and work with the community, the families and our partner nations. I am looking forward to it.”

While they recognize the work put in by Haas and his crew, they do want to explore new ideas on how to improve the 80th Flying Training Wing.

“We will make incremental changes over the next couple of years just to streamline things, make sure that our training and discipline are all as safe as possible,” Orgeron said. “Also, make sure we are graduating as most highly qualified fighter pilots for the Air Force at the end of the day.”

They also recognize how important it is to build a relationship with the community.

“The relationship between the community is so important to our airmen here on the base, so as much as we could get out there and interact with those folks,” Ford said. “Really just build that relationship with our community leaders and bring that back here so we make sure our airmen and our families are taken care of.”

The Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program is one of the top programs, if not the top, in the world, and Orgeron is looking to keep it there.

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