Brig. Gen. JD Harris, 56th Fighter Wing commander, passes the guidon to Col. Nathan Mooney Monday as he assumes command of the 56th Mission Support Group during a change-of-command ceremony at Luke Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann)
by Senior Airman C.J. Hatch
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
7/13/2012 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The 56th Mission Support Group and 56th Maintenance Group changed leaders this week as Col. Philippe Darcy relinquished command of the 56th MSG to Col. Nathan Mooney II Monday, and Col. Deborah Liddick relinquished command of the 56th MXG to Col. Victor Mora Tuesday during ceremonies held at Luke Air Force Base.
Mooney joins Team Luke after serving as the Alaskan Command director of logistics at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
Brig. Gen. JD Harris, 56th Fighter Wing commander, presided over the ceremonies.
"Colonel Mooney, I'm sure in the next two years you will call upon all you have learned in your last 23 years," Harris said.
Mooney has held a variety of logistics positions at wing level and has extensive staff experience at the major command, air staff and joint staff levels. In addition to his extensive logistics background, he has commanded a B-52 maintenance squadron. At his previous assignment, he directed Alaskan Command Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard logisticians in formulating and executing joint and combined plans for the deployment and sustainment of more than 200,000 combat personnel in the Pacific, Southwest Asia and North American theaters.
After accepting the unit flag, a symbol of command, Mooney addressed his Airmen for the first time with words of encouragement.
"Today I take command of the absolute best mission support group in the Air Force," Mooney said. "To the outstanding members of the 56th MSG, as your commander I say to each of you, I will fight tirelessly to ensure you have the resources you need to overcome today's challenges and to provide the wing outstanding support."
Mora joins Team Luke after attending Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala. Previously, he commanded a maintenance operations squadron, an aircraft maintenance squadron and he served as deputy commander of the 52nd Maintenance Group at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. He deployed as commander of the 332nd Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, Joint Base Balad, Iraq, and director of logistics for the Combined Forces Special Operation Component Command - Forward, Southwest Asia.
Harris also gave him advice as he begins his command.
"Colonel Mora you will find living here and the 56th MXG to be a little bit different than Germany in both size and scope," Harris said. "With three times the number of F-16s you will find you must rely on your subordinate commanders and senior enlisted leadership to get the mission accomplished. Every new F-16 crew chief on the planet will be trained in your team here at Luke."
After accepting the 56th MXG flag, Mora addressed his new group.
"First I'm humbled by the confidence General Harris has in me," he said. "To the men and women of the 56th MXG, for now I just want to say thanks. Thank you for the work you have done and what you will continue to do to train the world's finest F-16 aviators and maintainers. Nobody does it better than you."
Darcy leaves to the Defense Mapping Agency in St. Louis, Mo., and Liddick leaves to Air Education Training Command, Logistics/Installations and Mission Support Maintenance, Randolph AFB, Texas.