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News > 72nd ABW commander foresees promising future
Col. Bleymaier
Col. Steven Bleymaier, 72nd Air Base Wing commander, said he sees opportunities ahead and knows the wing can overcome every challenge. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)
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72nd ABW commander foresees promising future

Posted 2/10/2012   Updated 2/10/2012 Email story   Print story


by Brandice J. O'Brien
Staff Writer

2/10/2012 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.  -- He has a great respect for the 72nd Air Base Wing and its mission. Col. Steven Bleymaier, air base wing commander, said he is honored to lead the wing and sees a promising future.

Colonel Bleymaier succeeded Col. Bob LaBrutta Jan. 6. Prior to becoming wing commander, Colonel Bleymaier served as the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center vice commander and director of Propulsion for the Air Force.

"We have the best people -- military, civilians and contractors -- in the Air Force and there's nothing we can't overcome," said Colonel Bleymaier. "We will accomplish the mission and take care of our people and their families. We are in the midst of huge change, and there is more change coming, but there is no reason to be down. At the end of the day we're going to make it happen together as a team."

Colonel Bleymaier arrived at Tinker last summer from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., where he led the 20th Maintenance Group. In his 20-year career, he has worked in fighter aircraft, heavy aircraft and munitions maintenance. He also has experience in acquisition logistics, legislative liaison and politico-military plans. In addition to commanding the 20th MXG, he's led two squadrons and served at major command and Air Staff levels.

Before coming to Tinker, the colonel served one Air Force Materiel Command assignment. From 1995 to 1997, Colonel Bleymaier was the chief of Site Aviation and Field Support for the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile Joint System Program Office at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Prior to accepting command of the air base wing, Colonel Bleymaier said he had the privilege of observing the wing in action. As OC-ALC vice commander, he teamed with leaders across Tinker, including then-commander Colonel LaBrutta. After learning he'd become the next wing commander, he spent a few Saturday mornings with Colonel LaBrutta learning the ins and outs of the wing, as well as challenges -- fiscal, infrastructure and personnel cuts.

While the colonel said those are the realities of a constrained budget, he also sees the bigger picture; he sees opportunities and knows this team can overcome every challenge and succeed. After all, the air base wing is a key element of Team Tinker and supports all missions and every one of the more than 26,000 team members in all units.

"I'm confident in this wing's talents and abilities because I've seen them in action," Colonel Bleymaier said. "We have outstanding teamwork, Wildcatter spirit and we have winning attitudes. All things being equal, the team with the winning attitude wins; and attitude determines altitude."

Colonel Bleymaier said under his leadership, the wing will reveal problems, identify gaps, use root-cause analysis and continuously improve their processes to become more efficient and effective.

"Without a doubt in my mind, we are nowhere near our full potential and we can still achieve it despite the austere environment," the colonel said. "It comes down to the people we have and what they're capable of doing. We will be the best air base wing in the Air Force."

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