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153rd Airlift Wing welcomes new wing commander

U.S. Air Force Brig. Stephen Rader passes the 153rd Airlift Wing guidon to incoming commander Col. Justin Walrath.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Stephen Rader passes the 153rd Airlift Wing guidon to incoming commander Col. Justin Walrath. Walrath assumed command during a ceremony Nov. 4, 2017 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. John Galvin)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. --

Col. Justin Walrath assumed command of the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing during a Nov. 4 change of command ceremony at the wing headquarters, in Cheyenne.

Col. Paul Lyman relinquished command, and will assume command of the Wyoming Air National Guard, as assistant adjutant general- Air.

Walrath’s expectations and priorities for the wing include what airmen can expect from him, getting back to the basics of performing the mission, and providing top cover in order to perform that mission more efficiently.

He intends to continue focusing on mission readiness, the Commander’s Inspection Program, recruiting and retention, and shaping an environment for airmen to thrive.

Walrath oversees nearly 1,200 airmen and hopes to grow that number.

“You’ve committed your life to the military. I want to honor that by making this a place you want to come to,” Walrath said. “If we are doing something that doesn’t equate to lethality or our mission, we shouldn’t be doing it.”

Walrath has been with the 153rd since 2000 and has served in various positions, including tactics officer, assistant flight commander, flight commander, 187th Airlift Squadron commander and as the 153rd Operations Group commander.

The 153rd Airlift Wing is Wyoming’s sole Air National Guard wing and has a primary mission of providing combat airlift. The wing is also responsible for organizing, training, and equipping a force capable of conducting effective and sustained operations in support of the nation, state, and community.