Metzgar relinquishes command of 128th Air Refueling Wing

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jenna Hildebrand
  • 128th Air Refueling Wing
The 128th Air Refueling Wing, a Wisconsin Air National Guard unit based at Milwaukee's General Mitchell Airport held a Change of Command Ceremony here today.

Col. Edward Metzgar relinquished command of the wing to Col. Daniel Yenchesky, who served as the vice commander of the 128 ARW.

Both colonels' families were in attendance, as well as distinguished guests Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; Adjutant General of Wisconsin Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar; Assistant Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Gary Ebben; and Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Cullen, Wisconsin State Command Chief.

During the ceremony Metzgar was awarded The Legion of Merit, authorized by Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke III, Director of the Air National Guard, for his service to the 128 ARW .

Metzgar began his tour as wing commander  at the 128 ARW in February 2009.  During his command, the wing logged more than 18,427 flight hours, executed 4,379 sorties, simultaneously provided homeland security and contingency aerial refueling for 7,704 receiver aircraft and safely delivered more than 97 million pounds of fuel.

Metzgar's focus on mission readiness resulted in the 128 ARW setting a new Air National Guard standard during Air Mobility Command's first ever No Notice Nuclear Operational Readiness Inspection. Under Metzgar's command, the wing was rated "Outstanding" for aircrew Nuclear Command and Control and "Excellent" for Command and Control procedures.

In 2011, Metzgar commanded the deployment of 128 ARW unit members, aircraft, and resources to the 313th Air Expeditionary Wing, Moron Air Base, Spain, to carry out Operation Unified Protector.  They executed missions that contributed to the ability of the U.S. to sustain successful North Atlantic Treaty Organization operations in Libya.

After Walker presented the award to Metzgar, Ebben began the Change of Command Ceremony, which is an important military tradition. The 128 ARW guidon flag was passed from Metzgar to Yenchesky to symbolize the passing of the position to a new leader.

Yenchesky, a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours, previously served as Commander of the 126th Air Refueling Squadron, Milwaukee; Commander of the 90th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey; Air Operations Officer of the 128th Operations Group; and Commander of the 128th Maintenance Group. In 2011, he commanded the 313th Expeditionary Operations Group, Moron Air Base, Spain during Operation Unified Protector.

Following his tour as wing commander of the 128th Air Refueling Wing, Metzgar will assume his new duty as wing commander of the 171st Air Refeuling Wing at Pittsburgh.