Units don’t rebuild, they reload.
That’s exactly what the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group did when they gathered in dock 5 ½ for a change of command ceremony on June 20, as they welcomed incoming 76th AMXG Commander Col. Gregory Lowe and bid farewell to Col. Michael Allison.
Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex Commander Brig. Gen. Chris Hill presided over the ceremony.
“A change of command is a bit like a wedding. Among the different parties there’s excitement, anticipation, leaving, hellos and goodbyes among relationships new and old,” Hill said. “Participants and observers remember the past and ponder the future. It’s a chance to look back to measure past challenges and progress. It’s also a time to look ahead and anticipate the future.”
Lowe comes to Tinker from his position as deputy director in the Washington Liaison Office of the United States Africa Command. Lowe has led aircraft maintenance operations on the C-130, C-17, F-16, A-10, MC-12 and HH-60 aircraft in major commands and has deployed experience in CENTCOM, EUCOM and AFRICOM theaters of operation. This includes command of the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron during Operation Enduring Freedom.
“Group command has been a career-long goal, and I am blessed that it will be with one of the Air Force’s crown jewels,” Lowe said. “I look forward to learning how the group operates, and finding ways my diverse background can contribute toward its continued success.”
He says that one of his areas of focus during his next two years at Tinker will be cost-effectiveness.
“For more than a decade, the professional maintainers of the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group have made huge strides improving the speed, safety, and quality of the aircraft they overhaul. However, the cost of sustaining our legacy platforms is a growing share of our Air Force budget, crowding out other important areas like training, manpower, and purchasing new equipment,” Lowe said. “One of my focus areas will be on the cost-effectiveness of our work; using the levers of people, processes, and resources to drive down our costs. The best part of cost-effective maintenance is that it keeps our rates lower, which helps make us the ‘customer of choice’ for a potentially growing workload.”
Before passing off the unit flag, Hill commended Allison on being unique among his peers and being persistent in demanding the best from his team.
“He is a tenacious team builder and considered a mentor and coach by many including his peers, subordinates and superiors,” Hill said. “He has successfully led during a very dynamic time in this units history and during his two tours here at Tinker, in this depot, he has matured and proved the unlimited potential of Art of the Possible to change the game.”
Allison will be going on to Luke Air Force Base where he will lead the 56th Maintenance Group.
“As I have told you on many occasions, and I will repeat it today, we are in the peace business, but we accomplish this through power projection. Each and every day the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group Maintainer is an essential cog in that power projection machine,” Allison said. “The airpower you generate helps protect this nation and ensure our families and our friends and free from oppression and enjoy the liberty so many of us have died to protect. Please don’t ever lose sight of how grateful I, everyone in this room and this entire community are for your role in defending the United States.”