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20th FW welcomes new commander

Leadership stands on stage

U.S. Air Force Col. Lawrence T. Sullivan, incoming 20th Fighter Wing (FW) commander, receives his first salute as commander from Chief Master Sgt. Steve C. Cenov, incoming 20th FW command chief. Before joining team Shaw, Sullivan was the 8th FW vice commander at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

Leadership stands on stage

U.S. Air Force Col. Lawrence T. Sullivan, incoming 20th Fighter Wing commander, stands with his family for a photo after a change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, May 26, 2020. Sullivan assumed responsibility for approximately 79 aircraft, 17 wing staff agencies, 31,000 local military retirees and 29 geographically separated units across nine states. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

Leadership stands on stage

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Chad P. Franks, Ninth Air Force commander, left, and Col. Derek O’Malley, outgoing 20th Fighter Wing (FW) commander, right, clap for Col. Lawrence T. Sullivan, incoming 20th FW commander, center, as he takes command at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, May 26, 2020. Sullivan assumed responsibility for approximately 16,000 Airmen and family members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

Leadership stands on stage

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Austin Hoff, 77th Fighter Generation Squadron assistant dedicated crew chief, removes Col. Derek O’Malley’s, outgoing 20th Fighter Wing (FW) commander, name from an F-16CM Viper, revealing Col. Lawrence T. Sullivan’s, incoming 20th FW commander, underneath at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, May 26, 2020. This tradition represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility from one commander to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

Leadership stands on stage

U.S. Air Force Col. Derek O’Malley, outgoing 20th Fighter Wing (FW) commander, left, and Col. Lawrence T. Sullivan, incoming 20th FW commander, right, stand for an invocation during a change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, May 26, 2020. Sullivan assumed responsibility for approximately 16,000 Airmen and family members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

Leadership stands on stage

U.S. Air Force Col. Derek O’Malley, outgoing 20th Fighter Wing commander, stands at attention during a change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, May 26, 2020. After relinquishing command, O’Malley will be headed to his new station, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

Shaw and Sumter community leaders gathered for a 20th Fighter Wing change of command ceremony, May 26.

Presided over by Maj. Gen. Chad Franks, Ninth Air Force commander, the event provided an opportunity for individuals to say goodbye to Col. Derek O’Malley, outgoing 20th FW commander, and to welcome Col. Lawrence T. Sullivan, incoming 20th FW commander.

Due to COVID-19, the ceremony was altered to allow guests to social distance while still honoring military and Air Force traditions. The occasion was also livestreamed to provide a way for local citizens and service members not in attendance to watch.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to join your ranks, to rise to your standard and lead you to continued success,” said Sullivan. “I will be demanding of your discipline, of your integrity, your creativity, your leadership and your ability to build teams capable of solving our toughest challenges. Working together we will achieve victory by valor.”

Sullivan assumed responsibility for more than 16,000 Team Shaw members and will oversee approximately 79 F-16 Vipers. Under his leadership, the 20th FW will continue its mission to prepare, sustain and employ combat-ready F-16 airpower as the core suppression of enemy air defenses wing.