302 AW receives new commander

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Justin Norton

The 302nd Airlift Wing received a new commander, Col. Christopher Sedlacek, during a formal change of command ceremony Aug. 7 at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado.

As Col. Christopher Zidek, outgoing commander of the 302 AW, addressed the wing for the last time, he spoke of the challenges the wing faced during his two years in command.

“It's hard to believe how fast time passes,” said Zidek. “But as I look back at what we have accomplished together, none of that would've been possible without your professionalism, competence and commitment to the profession of arms and our mission. I wish you all the very best in the days ahead.”

During Zidek’s tenure, the 302 AW deployed more than 350 personnel in support of Operations Freedom Sentinel, Spartan Shield, Inherent Resolve and Allies Welcome. He oversaw the second busiest firefighting season in history and led the wing through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maj. Gen. Bret Larson, 22nd Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony which included Airmen from all over the wing in formation.

“Col. Zidek has done a remarkable job leading the 302 AW for the last two years,” said Larson. “As he took command the pandemic was radically altering the way the Air Force and the world conducted its business. Each change required smart and agile leaders and Col. Zidek exceeded all expectations.”

Zidek will move on to become the Force Generation Center commander at Robins Air Reserve Base, Georgia.

After formally taking command, Sedlacek stood at the podium and addressed the wing for the first time as their new commander.

“To the members of this elite wing, I want to share how excited I am to be here and I look forward to serving alongside each and every one of you,” said Sedlacek. “There's no other wing I'd rather be a part of. I'm proud and humbled to join this family and I look forward to what we will accomplish in the future.”

Sedlacek is a command navigator with more than 3,500 flight hours and served as the special assistant to the commander at the 934th Airlift Wing in Minneapolis-St Paul Air Reserve Station. He also served as the 934th Operations Group commander from May 2016 to September 2021.

"Col. Sedlacek is a humble, straightforward and imaginative leader with an excellent perspective on how to support Citizen Airmen,” said Larson. “He's the kind of servant leader I know is going to excel here at the 302nd Airlift Wing. Building upon a foundation set by his predecessor and with an outstanding group of people at the 302nd, I look forward to all the great things to come.”