WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)
The 82nd Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base has a new commander following a change of command ceremony Friday morning.
After about two years Brig. Gen. Ronald E. Jolly Sr. is leaving Sheppard Air Force Base and Col. Kenyon K. Bell has taken over command. Col. Bell is now in command of the training wing where he served 24 years ago.
When Bell first stepped foot on Sheppard Air Force Base in 1995, becoming commander one day was not something on his mind.
“Not at all,” Bell said. “As a young second lieutenant coming straight out of my commissioning source the only thing I was thinking about was all right when am I supposed to be there and am I going to show up in the right place in the right uniform. It has been an exciting journey to now find myself back here having served in multiple locations across the globe.”
During his time at those many locations, Bell has been held in high regard at every one.
“Number one of 42 all service lieutenant colonels,” Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Leahy said. “Number one of seven Lt. Col. Number one of five commanders. Number one of three 0-6’s. Number one of two first-year air base wing commanders. There is more, but I think you get the point.”
Bell knows how important the mission at Sheppard Air Force Base is to troops every where.
“When people are depending on an aircraft to do a certain thing, it is very important that we have trained technicians who know what they are doing because, not only are the troops on the ground in a lot of cases, depending on that aircraft to be able to perform at that capability, but the pilot that is behind that aircraft is also depending on that aircraft being able to do what it’s supposed to do, so it is tremendously important we get it right here,” Bell said.
During the ceremony, Bell said he felt the weight of that important mission.
“I looked out on the crowd and as you see the troops in formation,” Col. Bell said. “It’s a wonderful sight, I wish it was something everyone can see, to see the formation of the people we are privileged to lead, it’s just awe-inspiring.
It’s something you really have to pause for a moment and say wow. Understand the gravity of what is taking place here.”
Bell returning to where he first completed air maintenance officer training 24 years ago, now ready to lead the next generation of airmen at Sheppard Air Force Base.
Jolly has been assigned to Ramstein Air Base in Germany where he will serve as Director of Logistics, Installations and Mission Support at Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa.