New 302 ASTS commander

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Justin Norton

The 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron received a new commander during an assumption of command ceremony May 5, 2024, at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado.

Col. Mark Shepherd assumed command over the squadron during a ceremony presided over by Col. Christopher Sedlacek, 302nd Airlift Wing commander, with friends, family and Airmen in attendance.

Sedlacek spoke about the accomplishments and experiences that drove him to selecting Shepherd for the position. He addressed Shepherd directly in front of those in attendance.

"Based on your real world operational and tactical experience both in and out of uniform I believe you are suited to lead the ASTS to the next level," said Sedlacek. "I'm excited to have you back with the wing, I'm looking forward to what you'll do for our ASTS and I know you'll provide great leadership to this team."

After the formal ceremonial assumption of command, Shepherd spoke to his Airmen directly for the first time as their leader. He recounted a story of a time he was involved with a combat medical evacuation mission for a soldier at the point of injury, who he referred to as Joe. Shepherd emphasized the significance of different agencies that all play a part in making such an operation possible.

"Joe came home alive because of what we do for one another," said Shepherd. "When we choose to put on this uniform we incur a debt to one another and that debt must be kept. We will be ready to bring Joe home. Thank you for the work you have done, the work you continue to do and the work I will ask of you in the future. I look forward to serving you, and God bless you all."