• May 21, 2024
  • 4:58 PM

Change-of-Command Ceremony for 99th Nellis Air Force Base

The proud 99th Air Base Wing bid farewell to its outgoing commander, and extended a hearty welcome to its new commander in a change-of-command ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base July 15.  
Colonel Richard H. Boutwell had led ‘The 99’ since June, 2014, having come straight from his two- year stint at the Pentagon. He was effusive in his praise of the men and women who had served under him during his tenure, and was grateful, he said, “for all their incredible effort.”  
The Presiding Officer of the ceremony, Major General Glen D. VanHerck, likewise heaped praise on the outgoing commander, and spent considerable time recalling Col. Boutwell’s accomplishments. He also warned the incoming commander that he had some incredibly big shoes to fill.  
Taking over for Col. Boutwell is Col. Paul J. Murray. Murray, who for a time was in charge of all Air Force Combat Controllers in Iraq and has logged over 580 combat hours in an F-16, was visibly excited, bouncing up and down on his heels as he began to speak.  
A touching moment was made of a rather rote part of change-of-command ceremonies: during one part of the incumbent’s speech, airmen will usually bring over bouquets to his or her family members. Col. Murray stopped his speech, and hand delivered the bouquets himself. This took some time, as over 10 members of his family — including his 92-year old grandmother — attended. 
— Blake Boles, NDVS PIO, Southern Nevada