MADISON, Wis. — Active duty Airmen officially became a part of Truax Field following a Feb. 7 assumption of command ceremony at the 115th Fighter Wing’s Hangar 406.
Lt. Col. J. Scott Gibson, commander of the 495th Fighter Group’s Detachment 176, stationed at Dane County Regional Airport-Truax Field, was sworn in by Col. James D. McCune, 495th Fighter Group commander.
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to stand up here and be a part of both the 495th Fighter Group and the 115th Fighter Wing,” Gibson said. “It’s not us, the active duty, and you, the Guard. It’s just we, the Airmen of this wing.”
The 495th Fighter Group, originally a training organization based in England for 18 months during World War II, was reactivated nearly two years ago at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina with the intent of actively associating with Air National Guard and Air Reserve units to streamline training, spending and resource use.
Gibson will ultimately be responsible for 40 active duty personnel and four pilots as part of the Air Force’s total force integration.
“We’re going to get young aviators, young maintainers, young support personnel, and they are going to work right alongside those of you in the Guard who have been doing this for a lot longer than they have,” Gibson said.
This will be the first time active duty and Guardsmen were both stationed at Truax Field in more than 40 years. Gibson shared his excitement about combining both components, organizing the mix, and giving back to the Combat Air Force (CAF).
“We’re going to give back to the CAF,” he said. “We’re going to give them more experience, better aviators, better maintainers and better support personnel.”
McCune wrapped up his speech by directing advice to the new commander.
“You were picked specifically for the talents you have, so don’t ever change who you are,” McCune said. “I charge you to lead with empathy — to look into and understand each one of these Airmen. Everyone brings something to the table and it’s your job to figure out how they fit into that team and how to get the most out of them so this team can operate at high levels. All of these wonderful Airmen here are a great privilege and responsibility. It is your job to serve them, not the other way around.”