Col. Brian Newberry passed command of Fairchild Air Force Base’s 92nd Air Refueling Wing to Col. Charles “Brian” McDaniel during a change-of-command ceremony Friday afternoon.
Hundreds of airmen stood in formation on the tarmac facing two of the KC-135 tankers stationed at the base. Lt. Gen. Carlton Everhart II called Newberry an “outstanding leader.”
“Command is a privilege, a sacred trust that requires great commitment and great character,” he said.
The Legion of Merit was presented to Newberry, who welcomed McDaniel to the base. “I know the wing is in good hands, very good hands,” Newberry said.
Newberry also thanked the citizens of Spokane for their support, saying the city is a “red, white and blue community with a little bit of lilac mixed in.”
He became emotional when he thanked his wife and children for supporting him during his 23-year military career, which included moving every two years. Newberry singled out individual airmen for recognition as he bid farewell to his command. “I salute you,” he said. “Never forget you are first-class.”
McDaniel is no stranger to Fairchild. “The last time I was here at Fairchild I was being hunted down in the woods,” he said, referring to the base’s survival school. “I hope this time it goes better.”
Most recently, McDaniel has been vice commander of the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Force Base in Japan. Previously, he was commander of the 912th Air Refueling Squadron at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, and the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. He is a KC-135 instructor pilot.
“Man, is it great to be back with these big tankers behind me,” McDaniel said.