by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
6/15/2015 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Charge of the 51st Fighter Wing was put into new hands during a change of command ceremony June 16 at Osan Air Base.
During the ceremony, Col. Brook Leonard relinquished command of the
66-year-old fighter wing to Col. Andrew Hansen, the wing's 63rd
The event was presided over by Lt. Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, 7th Air
Force commander, who noted the historic importance of the 51st FW's
relationship with their Korean partners. O'Shaughnessy praised Leonard's
accomplishments at Team Osan, while welcoming Hansen.
"Today, we bid [Leonard] farewell, but we also know great things are
coming for you in our Air Force," O'Shaughnessy said. "It is a testament
to your leadership as installation commander that all the organizations
that comprise Team Osan have adopted your motivation, your drive to
work, to train hard, and to be able to fight together tonight.
Before arriving at Osan, Hansen was vice commander of the 35th Fighter
Wing at Misawa Air Base, Japan. This is his 17th assignment in a 22-year
career. The new commander surmised his focus as commander on taking
care of people, continuing to develop leadership and enhancing already
strong community relationships.
"It's a dream come true to become part of such an incredible team and support such an important mission," said Hansen.
Hansen said his command would be a great opportunity to build on the efforts of his predecessors.
"We now have the opportunity to build on the tremendous work of those
who came before us," said Hansen. "It's vital that we continue to be
prepared to fight and win tonight, to refine our craft, and to make the
best better. Mission first, people always, must be our focus."
Leonard, who served as 51st FW Commander since July of 2013, is moving
on to work as Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Air
Force at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He reflected on his time at
Osan with positivity and pride, remarking that teamwork and courage are
the main elements that will keep Team Osan great.
"We have to have courage on the road in front of us on this relentless
pursuit of excellence," said Leonard. "Teamwork brings out our best and
makes it better... Team Osan, we guarded the freedom of 51 million
people. We did so by taking care of the person to our left and every day
improving our foxhole and making our best better. It was a true honor
to serve with each and every one of you."
The common thread of the change of command was the importance of
guarding freedom and the long, and strong, alliance between the U.S. and
"This alliance is like no other," said Leonard. "We don't share a common
border, and we don't share a common language. Our grandparents
sacrificed their lives for freedom in and around Osan and around this
peninsula because they believed in justice and the rule of law. This
alliance stands ready constantly, like no other alliance in the world."