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Bartoli takes command of the 552nd ACG

Col. John Bartoli succeeded Col. Dominic Setka as commander of the 552nd Air Control Group during a change of command ceremony held July 13. Col. Geoffrey Weiss, commander of the 552nd Air Control Wing, was the presiding officer for the ceremony.

Weiss noted that the 552nd ACW, “America’s Wing,” delivers decisive command of the air, anytime and anywhere.

“We accomplish this not only from the air but also from the ground with our control and reporting centers and with the support of a unique and world class control network squadron and support squadron here at Tinker,” Weiss said.

The colonel went on to say that a special organization like the 552nd ACG needs a special kind of leader and commander.

“Fortunately we have two of those right here on the stage, ‘Cliffy’ Setka and ‘Flipper’ Bartoli,” said Weiss.

Weiss praised Setka for a job well done.

“Col. Setka has been a phenomenal leader and commander,” Weiss said. “This outstanding officer gets the big picture, understands how our mission is evolving and has been a tireless advocate for his people even as he effortlessly balances innumerable competing priorities.”

Turning his thoughts to Bartoli, Weiss said “in ‘Flipper’ Bartoli we have another brilliant leader coming back to our wing, ready to lead and inspire the Air Control Group. He brings a wealth of command and control experience and strategic vision to the job every day.”

Addressing his command for the first time, Bartoli noted the accomplishments of the group.

“You are unflinchingly honorable, disciplined and precise. For decades I’ve watched you stand astride the Middle East like a colossus as you broke the swords of Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, Al-Queda and ISIS,” Bartoli said. “Whenever this wing has deployed, you’ve dominated the air and ensured our ability to maneuver through cyberspace. You are the best in the world and I am profoundly honored to serve you.”

Setka, in his remarks, praised the men and women of the 552nd ACG.

“Over the past two years, you have brilliantly executed today’s no-fail combat mission in the Middle East and taken tremendous strides toward improving the full spectrum readiness required for us to succeed in future wars,” Setka said. “Thank you for your service. The people, their stories and the lasting impact this group made will stay with me forever, and I will keep on bragging about them every chance I get.”

Prior to the change of command, Setka was presented the Legion of Merit.