WPAFB hosts change of command ceremony for 655 ISRW


FAIRBORN — The National Museum of the United States Air Force hosted a change of command ceremony March 4 to celebrate and honor the transition of leadership in a prominent wing of the Air Force.

The event, located in the second hanger, was packed with men and women from across the nation who came to congratulate the former commander, Colonel Joseph T. Marcinek, and welcome the new one, Colonel Philip O. Warlick II, of the 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing (ISRW). The ceremony last about 90 minutes, after which both commanders stayed in the museum to meet and talk with the attendees.

The ISRW is a prominent wing of the Air Force, with stations in seven locations across the nation. The wing commands a total of 14 squadrons over two groups, the 655 ISRG and the 755 ISRG. The 655 ISRW was activated in 2018, and is the Air Force Reserve Command’s first and only wing of its kind.

The ceremony was conducted by Presiding Officer Major General Bryan P. Radliff, who shared personal sentiments about both the outgoing and incoming commanders, acknowledging the responsibility of the position and instilling confidence in the audience of their competency. Aside from professional capability, Radliff also cracked jokes with each of the two commanders and made evident a friendship that goes beyond most professional acquaintances.

The audience was primarily composed of 200-300 men and women in uniform, but close friends and family of the commanders, as well as prominent local politicians including Fairborn Mayor Paul Keller and State Representative Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) were also in attendance. On top of this, museum visitors were welcomed to watch, and the event was streamed live on the 655th ISRW’s Facebook page.

Each of the two commanders had the chance to give a short speech to the audience, and made clear their gratitude for both their immediate family and their family in the army. The teary-eyed audience reciprocated this gratitude with salutes and a standing ovation for the transition of power.

After the ceremonial speeches by the presiding officer and outgoing commander of the 655 ISRW, the audience gave a final salute to Marcinek before the command was officially given to Warlick, who was then given his first salute. Warlick then gave his remarks to his friends and family, pledged good leadership to his audience, and finally exited to the Air Force Song played by the live band.

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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