U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds welcomes new commander


NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony held at the Thunderbirds hangar here Jan. 6.

Lieutenant Colonel Gregory M. Moseley assumed command of the squadron from Lt. Col. Case A. Cunningham. Brigadier General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander of Nellis’ 57th Wing presided over the ceremony.

During his last remarks as squadron commander, Cunningham said although he is sad to be leaving the Thunderbirds family, he’s confident he is leaving the team in good hands.

“I am extremely honored to have had the opportunity to serve with all of you and lead you in the execution of our mission. Your hard work and unwavering dedication to excellence are truly awe-inspiring. Representing the amazing Airmen of our Air Force is an incredible charge and I could not be prouder of the way that you all took on that responsibility,” said Cunningham. “As Krisanne and I end our time with the Thunderbirds family, we will sleep well knowing that Lieutenant Colonel Moseley and his wife, Heather, are the absolute perfect team to lead this squadron to new heights in 2012.”

Cunningham was accepted to the Lorenz Fellowship, which is a senior developmental education program where he will work on a dissertation in pursuit of a doctor of philosophy in military strategy. In July, he will become the vice commander of the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

Before taking command of the Thunderbirds, Moseley was a student at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Prior to that assignment, he was the director of operations for the 43rd Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. He is a senior pilot with more than 2,000 flight hours as an Air Force pilot.

“To the men and women of the Thunderbirds team, I’m honored to be the commander of such a dynamic group of Airmen,” Moseley said. “The continued success of this outstanding organization is due to the hard work and commitment of each and every Thunderbirds team member. Heather and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of such an amazing team and mission.”

During the ceremony Moseley discussed the essence of what he believes being a Thunderbird is all about.

“Each and every day Airmen all around the world execute the Air Force’s mission with the utmost pride and precision. As Thunderbirds, we travel to locations all across the United States and abroad representing those same Airmen. We owe it to them and the public to ensure we make a lasting impression wherever we go,” Moseley said.

During his change of command speech, Moseley also addressed the Thunderbirds role in an ever- changing Air Force environment.
“As the Air Force mission becomes more important and more complex, the Thunderbirds will have an even greater responsibility to be ambassadors for the service,” Moseley said.

During the 2012 season, the Thunderbirds will perform more than 60 demonstrations in 33 locations, including two shows in Canada. For more information on the Thunderbirds and to see the full 2012 demonstration schedule, go to http://afthunderbirds.com.

By Tech. Sgt. Alice Diddle
U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron Public Affairs

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