"The hardest words to say in the vocabulary of service are 'I relinquish command.'"
On Tuesday morning, U.S. Air Force Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson shared this wisdom with the 10th Air Base Wing as they said goodbye to the wing's installation commander, Col. Troy Dunn.
Dunn, who served as commander of the 10th Air Base Wing for two years, is leaving the academy to serve as a brigadier general at the Pentagon. Col. Shawn Campbell will take his place, effective Tuesday.
By accepting the wing's colors, Campbell effectively assumed command of the Air Force's logistics, communications, medical, civil engineering and other support services. He is also tasked with preserving and improving $5.6 billion of infrastructure and the operation of a regional medical facility that serves all the military installations in Colorado Springs.
Campbell previously served as the director of manpower and personnel at U.S. Transportation Command. Before then, he was commander of the 375th Mission Support Group at the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. The Air Force has awarded him a variety of accolades, including the U.S. Air Force Europe Services Military Manager of the Year in 2001 and the Commander-in-Chief Installation Excellence Special Recognition Award in 2007. He also was a National Security Fellow at Harvard University.
"I know you will apply unique talents and perspectives to this wing," Johnson said to Campbell during Tuesday's ceremony. "I know you will accelerate the momentum that we are, on great trajectory and you'll take that to another level."
Johnson said the momentum that Dunn built over the past two years has allowed the Air Force to have the right tools and infrastructure to "fight the nation's fights together." He led a team that supports more than 4,000 cadets and a total military community of more than 25,000 personnel. He was responsible for a $150 million annual operating budget and served as the Crisis Action Team commander during all Air Force Academy installation contingency operations.
"Great teams are built on a strong foundation," Johnson said. "Col. Dunn has set a strong foundation for Col. Campbell and the team to build on."
Dunn described his wing as the "heart and soul of the Air Force Academy" and left them with one final message:
"Be proud of what we do. Be proud of why you serve. We will never make an apology for who we are. We are America's airmen," Dunn said. "I have been honored to serve with you and as wing command. But, folks, my time is up."