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20th OG welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. William Banton
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Col. Robert Raymond assumed command of the 20th Operations Group from Col. Brian Jackson during a change of command ceremony presided over by Col. Derek O’Malley, 20th Fighter Wing commander, June 26.

Previously serving as the U.S. European Command Office of Defense Cooperation Support Division chief, Raymond led a team responsible for all support functions for the directorate and 39 Offices of Defense Cooperation across the European theater.

“I know the 20th operations job is the toughest operation group job in the combat Air Force; I believe that,” said O’Malley to Raymond. “You’re leading the largest combat fighter operation in the world and Shaw Air Force Base is [at the center of] everything we are facing.”

O’Malley emphasized his confidence in Raymonds ability to manage the intricacies of an operations group in an Air Force facing the complex issues of pilot shortages, lower retention rates, aging fleets and aging facilities which require strong leadership to overcome. O’Mallley’s confidence in Raymonds leadership is not the only reason he was hired.

“I also hired [Raymond] because he’s a good man,” said O’Malley. “You can see that in the way he interacts with his family and the way he interacts with the people he leads.”

Raymond says that he looks forward to generating the combat power our country depends upon.

“Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein recently said, ‘We will fly to the sound of the guns, or die trying,’” said Raymond. “To me nothing embodies this ethos like the Wild Weasel mission that we own here in this group and in the wing. We don’t just fly to the sound of the guns we close fly to them and we dare them to shoot us, then we aggressively defend and return fire with precision and destroy our enemies.”