Promotion, change of command at Kingsley Field

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Klamath Falls third largest employer is under new management.

The first formal ceremony at Kingsley Field was for the promotion of Colonel Kirk Pierce to Brigadier General.

“I’m honored.”  Noted Pierce.  “It’s really the work that people do here, and in my past, the mentors that I’ve had, and the great teams that I’ve been on.”

Pierce has served as 173rd Wing Commander since January of 2015.

Pierce explains that his next task will take him back east:  “I’m going back to D.C., so I’ll be working on the air staff in the national capitol region.”

The second ceremony involved the change of command to Colonel Jeff Smith.

About 700 airmen were on hand.

“It’s surreal.”  Says Smith.  “Every time I’ve gone on the stage and turned around, it’s amazing to see all our our airmen formed up.”

Smith previously serves as commander of the 173rd maintenance group.

A newly-painted F-15 was also unveiled at the ceremony, marking 75 years of the Oregon Air National Guard.

Smith will now guide Kingsley on its mission of training F-15 fighter pilots, and protecting our nation’s freedom for the next generation.

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