Dyess AFB’s 317th Airlift Wing welcomes new commander

Military

Col. James G. Young, 317th Airlift Wing incoming commander, right, salutes Maj. Gen. Sam Barrett, 18th Air Force commander, left, as he takes command during the 317 AW change of command ceremony at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, July 24, 2020. Young takes command of the 317 AW after previously serving as the commander of the 86th Operations Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. David Owsianka)

(PRESS RELEASE) – Col. James G. Young, 317th Airlift Wing incoming commander, formally assumed command of the 317th AW from the outgoing commander, Col. Jeffrey Menasco, during a change of command ceremony at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, July 24, 2020.

Young joins the 317th AW team after serving as the commander of the 86th Operations Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He led the largest and busiest C-130J Super Hercules and operational support aircraft squadrons in the Air Force that provided the European and African theaters with airlift and aeromedical evacuation support.

“The C-130J aircraft is an incredible platform, but it’s useless without the men and women who generate and execute combat power,” Young said. “I’m proud of this team and what all of you have accomplished over the last two years under Menasco’s leadership.”

During his time at Dyess, Menasco helped implement changes for the 4/12 deployment cycle. The new deployment rotation enables the Airmen at Dyess AFB and Little Rock AFB, Arkansas to focus on full-spectrum readiness allowing the Airmen to be fully trained to execute any mission. The 317 AW Airmen also flew 80 percent of all the Air Force C-130J combat missions over the past year, and recently piloted one of the 24 aircraft from Dyess AFB alongside nine aircraft from Little Rock AFB, Arkansas, in the largest formation flight in C-130J history.

As Menasco leaves for Scott AFB, Illinois, he will never forget his time as the 317th AW commander.

“It has been an honor to serve alongside each of you during my time here,” he said. “Thank you for everything that you and your families have done in service to our nation. It’s truly humbling to serve with all of you.”

As the 317 AW commander, Young is responsible for organizing, training and equipping 1,200 personnel who operate, maintain and sustain Dyess’ fleet of C-130J aircraft that are engaged in worldwide combat and humanitarian aerial delivery operations.

“We are the modern war horse that consistently gets the job done with excellence whether it’s stateside or downrange,” Young said. “I look forward to serving alongside this team and advocating on your behalf as your commander.”

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