Colonel Kent Furman takes command of the 44th Fighter Group during a change of command ceremony April 15 at Holloman Air Force Base, NM. Col. William Lyons, 301st Fighter Wing vice commander presided. (U.S. Air Force photo/SrA Martha Whipple)
Colonel Kent Furman vows to continue the Total Force effort at Holloman during his change of command speech April 15. In his speech, he thanked the active duty leadership at Holloman for their support and praised Reserve members of the 44th Fighter Group for their dedicated service. Furman who has been with the unit since 2008, took command April 15. (U.S. Air Force photo/SrA Martha Whipple)
by SrA Martha Whipple
44th Fighter Group Public Affairs
4/20/2012 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, NM -- A new commander took the helm at the 44th Fighter Group during a change of command ceremony here April 15.
Colonel Kent Furman accepted the ceremonial flag from Col. William Lyons, 301st Fighter Wing vice commander, who was standing in for Brig. Gen. Bruce Miller, 301st FW commander.
Furman was part of the initial integration team in 2008 when the group was just a detachment and totaled four people. He and his two predecessors planted a seed that would grow into a cohesive Reserve group that seamlessly trained, worked and deployed with its active duty counterparts.
He commanded the 301st Fighter Squadron, served as vice commander of the group and now, the commander. As the group's mission changes, Furman promised to serve the members and help each one find their way in the Reserve command.
Some of the unit will transition to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., with the F-22s and others will stay and focus on the remotely piloted aircraft mission. Furman vowed to help the current RPA detachment obtain a squadron designation and build a sustainable RPA unit with same total force integration relationship as the F-22 mission.
He thanked the active duty leadership for their support of the Reserve team and is dedicated to continuing to nurture that relationship.
"Some TFI efforts at other bases are not doing well, but ours is," Furman said. "Active duty leadership does not tell our Reserve unit 'no.' Both the active duty and Reserve leadership put the mission ahead of personal agendas. And that's why it works here."
He said he is proud that leadership cannot distinguish active duty members from Reserve members. It is evident that the two sides work to accomplish the same mission ... fly, fight, win.
Furman attributes the success of the relationship to his two predecessors, Col. Scott Crogg and Col. Donald Lindberg. The trio has worked together to grow the unit since 2008. They grew the unit one person at a time, interviewing each one to maintain a standard of excellence across the unit. Lindberg set the tone of the unit, according to Crogg. Furman will continue with the same standard and tone, he said.
Crogg, who relinquished command during the ceremony, will move to Tyndall and lead the integration team as some of the 44th FG members transition there with F-22s.
"I couldn't be prouder to hand the flag to my best friend," Crogg said. "The folks who are staying here are in good hands."