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F-35 wing welcomes new leader

33rd FW Welcomes New Wing Commander

U.S. Air Force Col. Jack R. Arthaud, 33rd Wing incoming commander, speaks for the first time as commander during his change of command ceremony, July 30, 2021, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Arthaud took command after serving as the Weapons School commander at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Heather LeVeille)

33rd FW Welcomes New Wing Commander

From left, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills, 19th Air Force commander, Col. Jon S. Wheeler Jr., 33rd Fighter Wing outgoing commander, and Col. Jack R. Arthaud, 33rd FW incoming commander, salute during the singing of the national anthem during a change of command ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 30, 2021. The 33rd FW is a graduate flying and maintenance training wing for the F-35 Lightning II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Heather LeVeille)

33rd FW Welcomes New Wing Commander

From left, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Joshua Owens and Staff Sgt. Hunter Davis, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chiefs, reveals Col. Jack R. Arthaud, 33rd Fighter Wing incoming commander, name on aircraft 5033 during a change of command ceremony where Arthaud assumed command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 30, 2021. Davis and Owens have been charged with the care and maintenance of aircraft 5033. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Heather LeVeille)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The 33rd Fighter Wing welcomed their new commander in a change of command ceremony, July 30, here.

Col. Jack R. Arthaud assumed command from Col. Jon S. Wheeler, Jr. before the presiding officer Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills, 19th Air Force commander.

Wills praised the 33rd FW for its continued contributions to the Air Force’s newest 5th-generation fighter, the F-35A Lightning II and congratulated Arthaud for being chosen to continue the wing’s almost 80 year legacy in airpower.

“We celebrate the fact that the Air Force sent us another great leader and another great family to continue this wing’s great legacy,” said Wills.

Relinquishing command brings a close to Wheeler's 25 years of service in the Air Force as he celebrates his retirement immediately following the change of command ceremony.

“I will certainly miss this wing, and I will miss this job; however, I am extremely satisfied knowing that the wing is in great hands,” said Wheeler. “Col. Arthaud, you are the perfect choice to lead the Nomads.”

Arthaud, the incoming commander, came to the 33rd FW from his previous position as the United States Air Force Weapons School commandant at Nellis AFB, Nevada. Arthaud is a command pilot with more than 2,000 flight hours and has served in five fighter squadrons.

Arthaud has aided multiple operations, flying in combat missions over Iraq for Operation Southern Watch and Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as leading Operation Noble Eagle missions over the United States.

“It is truly an honor to return to the wing and do my part to uphold the lineage and tradition of excellence,” said Arthaud.

As the commander of the 33rd FW, Arthaud will lead the F-35A Lightning II flying program and host the F-35 A/B/C maintenance training for the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy, as well as F-35 training needs for 13 international allies. The wing is also responsible for U.S. Air Force and international air battle manager training at Tyndall AFB and intelligence formal training here and at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

“We will continue to build the world’s finest warriors and leaders--able to compete and win anywhere in the world,” said Arthaud.