By Staff Sgt. Daniel Robles
176th Wing Public Affairs
Alaska Air National Guard Col. Joshua Armstrong succeeded Col. Matthew Calabro as the 176th Operations Group commander during a July 14 ceremony here.
The group provides wartime and peacetime mission support of deployment operations, combat search and rescue, air control, rescue coordination and strategic airlift for the 176th Wing.
During the ceremony, Calabro received the Legion of Merit. The award citation highlighted the 176th OG’s efforts under his command. Under Calabro’s leadership, 176th Wing personnel participated in the largest noncombatant evacuation operation in Afghanistan. They also moved thousands of pounds of cargo and troops throughout the world including during deployments to Africa and Iraq.
Calabro thanked the men and women of the operations group for their tenacity and dedication.
“No other group in the Air National Guard has three distinct mission sets like us that conduct 24/7, 365 missions for the active duty and Guard,” he said. “Thank you for your sacrifice and your ability to make the impossible possible. Your focus was and continues to be warfighting excellence.”
Calabro will soon retire after 22 years of service.
Armstrong addressed the group after thanking his family for supporting him.
“Operations group, you’re amazing, and you can make a difference during this global uncertainty,” he said. “I know you’re up to it and I’m honored to be with you in this journey. I ask for your continued sacrifice and service in the future. In doing so I swear I will not take it lightly.”