49th Wing assumption of command

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Aaron Montoya
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Hundreds of Airmen base-wide welcomed the new 49th Wing commander, Col. Robert E. Kiebler, during an assumption of command ceremony at hangar 500 July 18.

The presiding officer of the ceremony, Lt. Gen. Tod Wolters, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, spoke about Kiebler after the presentation of the colors and the ceremony's invocation.

"I first had the opportunity to serve with "Kiebs" Kiebler in combat when he was in Kandahar serving as the Ops [Operations] Group commander, and what I saw was an incredible combination of guts, willingness to lead from the front, and a tremendous ability to lead from the heart and from the mind. When it was all said and done, he was one of those leaders with those special qualities that I knew needed to continue to lead at the highest level of the United States Air Force, and that's what you have. Marcelle and "Kiebs" are the best that our 21st Century Air Force has to offer," said Wolters.

Upon assuming command of the 49th Wing, Kiebler will be responsible for a wing that is comprised of about 4,600 military and civilian members. Supporting over 20 squadrons, including the German Air Force Flying Training Center, he will provide combat-ready Airmen, train MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators, and host the 54th Fighter Group's F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot training mission, the 96th Test Group's high-speed test track mission, and the German Air Force Flying Training Unit.

"I am honored to join Team Holloman and look forward to play a part in this outstanding organization, most importantly, I would like to express my deep gratitude and my humble appreciation to the men and women of the 49th Wing for allowing me this opportunity," said Kiebler.

Before assuming command of the 49th Wing, Kiebler was a U.S. national military representative to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe at Casteau, Belgium. Kiebler has accumulated 2,600 flight hours between six different aircraft, including the T-37, T-38 Talon, A-10 Thunderbolt II, T-28, MQ-1B Predator, and MC-12. His military decorations include the Defense Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Aerial Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters.