Kingsley Change of Command

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Sun, January 13 2013 at 4:22 PM, Updated: Sun, January 13 2013 at 4:31 PM

One of the largest employers in Klamath Falls is under new management tonight...following a change of command at Kingsley Field.

A crowd of nearly a thousand was on hand for the change of command from Col. Jeffrey Silver to Col. Jeremy Baenen.

Col. Baenen says he's looking forward to the challenges ahead...

"We've got the potential for an increase in our flying operations here - and of course, that's proposed at this point - but with any luck, we'll have that mission bedded down here as well."

Outgoing commander Col. Silver is taking on an assignment in Afganistan...but he says there's a good chance he'll return to Klamath Falls...

"I will be moving back to Portland.  But my wife and I are actually thinking of buying a piece of property down here for later on, because we love it so much."

The new commander of the 173rd Fighter Wing, Col. Baenen, says he's optimistic about the future of the base...

"We've got challenges ahead.  That brings opportunities for the base, and for the community - and I'm very optimistic that we'll meet all those challenges."


About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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