The 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base is under new leadership after a change of command ceremony that said goodbye to Col. James Vechery and welcomed Col. Dwight Sones.
After serving for two years as the commander of the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis, Vechery is headed to Scott Air Force Base in Illinois to be deputy director of Operations and Mobility Command. Sones comes to Travis after serving as commander of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyz Republic.
“I thank God for blessing me with this wonderful second opportunity to command and for leading us through the challenges we faced,” Vechery said. “God inspired me daily to remember my job was to serve, and not be served.” added that Sones is gaining a family, a very large family at Travis.
“Travis is a very special place because Travis has very special people,” he said. “We have a family here and I’m so blessed to have been a part of it.”
A highlight of his service at Travis, according to Vechery, was the response from military personnel after a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March.
“I witnessed the Travis family come to life,” he said.
The Travis family welcomed 2,517 family members to the military base and cared for them like they were their own.
“This display of love and affection is what I witnessed continuously during my tenure as your commander,” he said. “You make everyone feel important.”
On Friday, Vechery was awarded the Legion of Merit medal.
Taking command of the largest air mobility wing in the Air Force, Sones said he could describe it in one word, “incredible.”
“It’s easy to see why Team Travis is the best in (Air Mobility Command),” he said. “It’s exciting for me and my family to be a part of this team.”
Lt. Gen. Robert Allardice, commander of the 18th Air Force at Scott Air Force Base, joined the ceremony Friday and commended the men for their jobs well done.
Col. Dwight C. Sones talks during a change of command ceremony Friday at Travis Air Force Base. (Rick Roach / The Reporter) two phenomenal leaders in the Air Force today,” he said and added that change of command ceremonies give everyone a time to pause and celebrate as a team.
The air mobility team, Allardice said, makes a tangible impact every day with at least one airplane taking off every 90 seconds around the world for the nation and the nation’s cause.
“This installation represents all air mobility,” he said. “Folks, you can’t imagine how important this installation is for our nation.”
He added that Vechery is certainly leaving Travis better than he found it.