22 ARW Gains New Commander

  • Published
  • By SSgt Tryphena Mayhugh
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The 22nd Air Refueling Wing hosted a change of command ceremony where Col. Nate Vogel, outgoing 22 ARW commander, relinquished command to Col. Cory Damon, incoming 22 ARW commander, June 9.

Damon came to McConnell from MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, where he served as the vice commander of the 6th Air Refueling Wing. In taking over the 22nd, he will oversee this wing’s air refueling mission and 3,500 active-duty Airmen.

“Leadership transitions can sometimes be a challenge, but change can also be exciting and provide new perspectives that can ultimately make the organization better,” Damon said. “The Wing Commander is not the only position changing this summer, so it is important for our teammates to remain engaged with impeccable character and superior competence in their roles.  It's obvious to me that this organization is already skillfully leading, managing, innovating, and executing the air refueling mission while caring for our Airmen and their families in installation support.”

As a part of that change, the new wing commander has a few priorities that he wants to focus on first.

“Early on, my personal priorities include building relationships and listening to the members of the organization to celebrate the huge successes this base has accomplished under Col. Vogel and Team McConnell’s leaders, as well as identify obstacles to further success,” Damon said.  “In order to accomplish all of that, we need to care the most for our people, our purpose, our partnerships and our performance and connect with, develop, and prepare our people as they are our most valuable resource.”

Damon received his commission in May 2001 after graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He has served in a number positions at the squadron, wing, and major command levels and at several bases, including Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska; Dover Air Force Base, Delaware; Scott Air Force Base, Illinois; Travis Air Force Base, California; and in Stuttgart, Germany.

“My family and I are excited to be assigned to McConnell Air Force Base and the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, and to live in the greater Wichita community,” Damon said. “We have heard fantastic praise from those that have lived in the area before and are fortunate to get back to the Midwest. The most exciting part for me is the ability to continue to serve the nation and care for the military and civilian members of our Air Force.”

Summer is typically a busy time for a base, and Damon is hitting the ground running with Team McConnell.

“We have some big events in the next two months, including Operation Centennial Contact to celebrate 100 years of air refueling on June 27th, followed in July by Air Mobility Command's Mobility Guardian Exercise to ensure we have a winning scheme of maneuver for any possible future conflicts,” Damon said. “This base is also leading a new era in air refueling with the KC-46 and continuing to employ the venerable KC-135 in combat environments.”

Damon was welcomed at McConnell as a command pilot with more than 4,200 flying hours, primarily in the KC-135 Stratotanker and C-5 Galaxy.

“We would like to personally thank the members and residents of McConnell Air Force Base and our partners in the surrounding communities including industry, academia, and state and local government for a fantastic welcome over the last few days,” Damon said. “We look forward to getting to know you and keeping the momentum of winning at McConnell!”

Vogel, the outgoing commander, is headed to Washington D.C. for a position at the Pentagon.