Clotfelter takes command of 116th Air Control Wing at Robins

jburk@macon.comOctober 25, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- Col. Kevin Clotfelter assumed command of the 116th Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base in a ceremony Thursday.

One of Robins’ own, Clotfelter is the former commander of the 116th Operations Group, where he was responsible for operations and training of E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System personnel. As commander, he will be responsible for the worldwide employment of Joint STARS.

At the ceremony -- held in the Century of Flight Hangar at the Museum of Aviation and officiated by Maj. Gen. Thomas Moore, commander of the Georgia Air National Guard -- Clotfelter told a story about being prepped for his first media interview.

Clotfelter said he was told reporters might ask him what his goals are. To that, he said, “I got one: Guard what is trusted to my care.”

Clotfelter, who also has extensive operational background in B-52 and B-1B flight operations, takes over the top position from Brig. Gen. William Welsh. Welsh is transferring to Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., as the mobilization assistant to the deputy commander for Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance at U.S. Strategic Command.

Before relinquishing command, Welsh was awarded the Distinctive Service Medal.

“Under his command, the wing surpassed the milestone of over 10 years of continuous deployment and more than 78,000 combat hours while supporting an unprecedented deployment rate,” according to the award citation.

In addition, Welsh, who was with the 116th Air Control Wing for 16 years and served as its commander since October 2011, oversaw the transition from the blended unit to include the active-duty 461st Air Control Wing. Together, they operate Joint STARS.

Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth, adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard, selected Clotfelter for the position.

To contact writer Jennifer Burk, call 256-9705.

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