Fairchild Air Force Base’s 92nd Air Refueling Wing is getting a new wing commander on Friday, Col. Charles B. McDaniel.
Current Wing Commander Col. Brian M. Newberry will relinquish command in a ceremony at 1 p.m., the base said in a news release.
Newberry, in a prepared statement, thanked the Spokane community, saying “your patriotism is part of your DNA.”
He also touched on the controversy about a proposed casino near the base on the West Plains, saying, “While issues like land use and questions about building around the base persist, rest assured the Air Force here at Fairchild continues to search for common ground.”
McDaniel comes to Fairchild from Kadena Air Base in Japan, where he was vice commander of the 18th Wing, the largest combat wing in the Air Force, the news release said.
He graduated from the University of Tennessee and received his pilot’s wings in 1993 at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma.
The change-of-command ceremony is open to anyone with appropriate base access, the release said.
Two men sentenced in separate killings
Two men have been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in a pair of unrelated slayings dating back to May 2012.
Shane Smith, 40, was sentenced to a little more than 14 years in prison for his role in the killing of Warren Flinn on May 13, 2012, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said. Investigators said Flinn was shot twice in the back of the head in a dispute over cigarettes, but acquaintances said the argument may have been over drugs.
Smith was arrested a little more than a week after the killing at a residence in the 6700 block of East Third Avenue in Spokane Valley. A trial had originally been scheduled to begin Monday.
Also sentenced this week was Michael Bullock, 41, who was arrested in March for the death of a man pulled from the Spokane River last fall. Authorities say Donald J. Kuest died of drowning and hypothermia, though his body showed signs of a struggle.
A judge on Tuesday sentenced Bullock to eight years in prison for his role in the slaying, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The investigation into Kuest’s death is ongoing and additional arrests are expected, authorities said in a news release.