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Luke detachment adjusts change of command to support social distancing

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements the 944th Operations Group Detachment 2 employed a creative approach to their recent leadership change by accomplishing an in-air change of command ceremony March 27 at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

Col. Trena Savageau, 944th Operations Group commander, presents Lt. Col. Wycliffe Furcron, the new 944th OG Detachment 2 commander, the detachment guidon March 27 during a change of command ceremony at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. A unique change of command ceremony was conducted due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements at Luke. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements the 944th Operations Group Detachment 2 employed a creative approach to their recent leadership change by accomplishing an in-air change of command ceremony March 27 at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

Col. Trena Savageau, 944th Operations Group commander, presents Lt. Col. Wycliffe Furcron, the new 944th OG Detachment 2 commander, the detachment guidon March 27 during a change of command ceremony at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. A unique change of command ceremony was conducted due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements at Luke. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements the 944th Operations Group Detachment 2 employed a creative approach to their recent leadership change by accomplishing an in-air change of command ceremony March 27 at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

Lt. Col. Justin Robinson, 944th Operations Group Detachment 2 commander, performs a final exterior inspection check of an F-35 Lightning II March 27 before take-off at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Robinson took his final flight and participated in a unique change of command due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements at Luke. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements the 944th Operations Group Detachment 2 employed a creative approach to their recent leadership change by accomplishing an in-air change of command ceremony March 27 at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

Lt. Col. Justin Robinson, 944th Operations Group Detachment 2 commander, poses for a photo March 27 before take-off at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Robinson took his final flight and participated in a unique change of command due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements at Luke. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements the 944th Operations Group Detachment 2 employed a creative approach to their recent leadership change by accomplishing an in-air change of command ceremony March 27 at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

Lt. Col. Justin Robinson, 944th Operations Group Detachment 2 commander, prepares for take-off March 27 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Robinson took his final flight and participated in a unique change of command due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements at Luke. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements the 944th Operations Group Detachment 2 employed a creative approach to their recent leadership change by accomplishing an in-air change of command ceremony March 27 at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

Lt. Col. Justin Robinson, 944th OG Det. 2 commander, flying an F-35 Lightning II, submitted his lead position in the air to Lt. Col. Wycliffe Furcron, 944th OG Det. 2 director of operations, also in an F-35.

Col. Trena Savageau, 944th Operations Group commander, presided over the unique event by radio, at the 309th Fighter Squadron operations desk.

“Lt. Col. Robinson present the Ninjas,” said Savageau. “Do you relinquish command?”

Robinson relinquished his command and Furcron accepted command of the detachment.

“Slammer, you have the lead on the right,” said Robinson as Furcron moved into position.

Savageau voiced the ending of the creative ceremony with “Bonzai,” as both Furcron and Robinson followed suit.

Directly after the pilots landed, the detachment guidon was officially presented to Furcron in front of mission essential manning on the flightline.

Furcron was commissioned in 2002 from the United States Air Force Academy. He earned his wings at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, and completed the F-16 Basic Qualification Course here at Luke in 2004. His career includes multiple assignments as an F-16 and F-35 instructor pilot and has flown over 300 combat hours in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.