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492 SOW Carpetbaggers welcome new command team

492d SOW change of command

U.S. Air Force Col. Caleb Nimmo, 492d Special Operations Wing commander, provides remarks during a change of command ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Florida, June 18, 2021. Nimmo was previously the vice commander of the 919th Special Operations Wing at Duke Field, Florida, before assuming his new role as the commander of the Carpetbaggers of the 492d SOW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Victor J. Caputo)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. --

Leadership past and present, honorary commanders, and 492d Special Operations Wing members gathered to welcome their newest command team June 18, at the Commando Hangar here.

Col. Caleb Nimmo assumed command from Col. Andrew Jett during a change of command ceremony presided over by the commander of Air Force Special Operations Command Lt. Gen. Jim Slife.

“No wing across AFSOC has been tasked with such a disparate set of missions,” said Slife. “The men and women of the 492 perform jobs that you would find in no other wing here in AFSOC.  We couldn’t have asked for a more dynamic team to continue leading the 492 SOW to new frontiers.”

The 492 SOW is a primary support unit of the AFSOC, the Air Force component of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

The 492 SOW is responsible for the training and education of Air Force special operations forces as well as AFSOC's Aviation Foreign Internal Defense program, non-standard aviation program, innovation development, command-level weapons and tactics, and operational testing in support of Air Force Special Operations Forces throughout the world.

“Our country's security rests squarely on your shoulders and we are so grateful for you,” said Nimmo.  I am honored, humbled and quite frankly, fired up to serve as Air Power colleagues in this most hallowed profession of arms.”

Nimmo is a command pilot with more than 5700 flight hours in nine aircraft. Prior to assuming command of the wing, Nimmo served as the 919 Special Operations Wing vice commander at Duke Field, Florida. 

The 492 SOW also welcomed Chief Master Sgt. Kurpier as its newest command chief, replacing Chief Master Sgt. Clint Grizzell, who will be heading to Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado as the newest command chief of the Special Operations Command North. 

Chief Kurpier, previously served as the AFSOC first sergeant.

Gen. Slife articulated his confidence in the incoming command team’s ability to navigate the 492 SOW through its evolution to meet the operational needs of the future.

"We stand at the precipice of a generational change -- a third, post-Vietnam inflection point, where the future is best understood not as a linear extension of the past, but rather as discontinuity where something different altogether will be required,” said Slife. “Just as we transformed in the aftermath of April 1980 in the deserts of Iran, and in September of 2001 after the terrorist attacks on our homeland, we must once again adapt ourselves to what the future operating environment will require. Carpetbaggers WILL lead that transformation. We couldn’t have asked for a more dynamic team to continue leading the 492 SOW to new frontiers."

The new command team inherits the wing with approximately 1640 Carpetbaggers worldwide. He is now the fourth 492 SOW commander.

"Chief Kurpier and I look forward to working with our joint and total force partners, as we move forward to build the AFSOC we will need for our next generation of SOF Airmen," said Col Nimmo.