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Outgoing 76th CMXG commander proud of his unit

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- When Col. Mike Christian arrived at Tinker in June 2011, he said he was advised to "Look, Listen and Learn."

The advice paid off and the 76th Commodities Maintenance Group reached impressive feats, compliments to a remarkable team. Yet, the colonel believes the team can accomplish so much more, a challenge that is left to his successor.

At 10 a.m. today, the commodities maintenance group commander will turn over the reins to Col. Leigh Method. His next assignment is to Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar, where he will be the senior logistics officer at U.S. Air Forces Central Command. Within his new role, he will be responsible for maintenance, supply, transportation, fuels and munitions.
"My goal has always been to produce and overhaul aircraft components with increased quality and reduced costs," said Colonel Christian. "Process improvement and modern manufacturing methods have been the tools we've relied on to achieve those goals and I would say that after a record of 5 million production hours, 400,000 units produced and a quality rate of 5.2 sigma, we are not even close to our real potential."

With more than 2,400 personnel in the group responsible for 20 major production facilities that provide manufacture, repair, overhaul and test for 75,000-plus aircraft and missile components each year, the achievement is no small feat.

The commodities maintenance group also made a name for itself within the Air Force Sustainment Center.

"Colonel Christian is responsible for taking the three-star vision to the shop floor," said Brig. Gen. Gene Kirkland, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex commander. "He led his team in building the AFSC Way into our depot maintenance processes."

The colonel said the praise belongs to the personnel -- they made the achievements possible.

"This group remains a place where people, and in some cases multiple generations of the same family, can continue to work making a difference each day," Colonel Christian said.

The same can be said about the people who work around the base in other units, an asset the colonel said he appreciates.

"I've really come to appreciate the contributions this base makes toward our national defense. The type of units, both Air Force and Navy, that are assigned to Tinker are characterized as strategic in nature and the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex isn't any different in its breadth and scope supporting aircraft and engines around the world," he said. "The secret to that success is not in the outstanding facilities or high-tech equipment. It's in the people who work here that make the Tinker team powerful and capable."

Overall, Colonel Christian said he enjoyed his tenure here and looks forward to returning to Tinker and the Oklahoma City metro after his one-year overseas assignment.

"I've been exceptionally lucky, privileged and honored to be able to be a commander here and serve the people of the group, base and surrounding communities," he said. "It's been a great place to live and work and I can't wait to come back and be a part of the community once again."

The change of command will be held at Hollywood and Vine in Bldg. 3001.