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140th Operations Group welcomes new leadership

Col. Jim Fogle, commander, 140th Operations Group, passes the 120th Fighter Squadron guidon to Lieutenant Col. Patrick Hanlon, the new 120 FS commander, during a ceremony May 18 at Buckley AFB, Colo. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt Wolfram Stumpf)

Col. Jim Fogle, commander, 140th Operations Group, passes the 120th Fighter Squadron guidon to Lieutenant Col. Patrick Hanlon, the new 120 FS commander, during a ceremony May 18 at Buckley AFB, Colo. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt Wolfram Stumpf)

Col. Floyd Dunstan, commander, 140th Wing, passes the 140th Operations Group guidon to newly-promoted Col. Timothy Conklin, the new 140 OG commander, during a ceremony May 18 at Buckley AFB, Colo. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt Wolfram Stumpf)

Col. Floyd Dunstan, commander, 140th Wing, passes the 140th Operations Group guidon to newly-promoted Col. Timothy Conklin, the new 140 OG commander, during a ceremony May 18 at Buckley AFB, Colo. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt Wolfram Stumpf)

Before assuming command of the 140th Operations Group, Lieutenant Col. Timothy Conklin was promoted to the rank of colonel. His wife, Emily helps pin his new rank onto his uniform during the ceremony May 18 at Buckley AFB, Colo. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt Wolfram Stumpf)

Before assuming command of the 140th Operations Group, Lieutenant Col. Timothy Conklin was promoted to the rank of colonel. His wife, Emily helps pin his new rank onto his uniform during the ceremony May 18 at Buckley AFB, Colo. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt Wolfram Stumpf)

BUCKLEY AFB, Colo. -- The 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, welcomed new leadership May 18 during change of command ceremonies recognizing Col. Timothy Conklin as the new 140th Operations Group commander and Lieutenant Col. Patrick Hanlon as the new 120th Fighter Squadron commander.

Col. Floyd Dunstan, commander, 140th Wing, officiated the ceremony and began by thanking Col. Jim Fogle, the outgoing 140th Operations Group commander, for his outstanding leadership through several deployments, exercises and inspections over the past three years.

Fogle relinquished command of the 140 OG to the newly-promoted Colonel Conklin, advising him to remain focused on their most important mission: combat readiness. According to Fogle, "Conklin is the most qualified guy in the history of the Air National Guard to take over the operations group."

Dunstan agreed, "Conk has truly done it all and he has a lot more to give to the future."

Prior to the ceremony, Conklin served as the commander of the 120th Fighter Squadron, the oldest squadron in the Air National Guard, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

Conklin recently led the 120th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron on a deployment to Africa, as the first F-16s on location, supporting OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, where they truly set a standard of excellence for units to follow.

"It's a bittersweet day," Conklin said as he relinquished command of the F-16 squadron to Hanlon, however he was confident that as the 34th commander of the 120 FS, Hanlon would carry on the proud tradition of the last ninety years.

Hanlon brings a tremendous amount of experience from his previous position as the wing plans officer. He was largely responsible for the wing's success during the phase II Operational Readiness Inspection in 2012 and according to Dunstan, he gets things done right and is "the man for the job."

After accepting command of the squadron, Hanlon assured that he will lead the squadron to not only meet, but exceed all expectations.

"I will lead from the front, into and out of harm's way," Hanlon said. "We will be the squadron of choice for any combatant commander at any time."

Dunstan expressed his ultimate faith and confidence in the abilities of both new commanders and the wing looks forward to continuing its tradition of success and excellence.