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America’s AOC welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • 601st Air Operations Center

The 601st Air Operations Center welcomed a new commander during a ceremony held here on September 26, 2019.

The age old military tradition, passing of the flag during the ceremony, symbolized the change in leadership as Col. Gregory Krane assumed command of the 601st AOC from Col. Michael Valle. The 601st AOC change of command was presided over by Lt. Gen. Marc Sasseville, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region – First Air Force (Air Forces Northern) commander.

“The 601st AOC is one of the best AOC’s in the world because of you (Colonel Valle), and I know I have big shoes to fill with high expectations,” said Krane. “I truly believe that what makes us great is our people, to take command of the 601st AOC is the proudest moment in my military career.”

Prior to commanding the 601st AOC, Krane served as commander of the 101st Air and Space Operations Group; a Florida Air National Guard unit that provides the primary manning for the 601st AOC to fulfill its critical mission of defending the homeland.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as commander of the 601st AOC,” said Valle. “America’s AOC is truly a family, my family.  I have no doubt that Col. Krane feels the same and is the one to lead this dynamic team into the future.”

After over 1.5 years as commander of the 601st AOC, serving previously as the 101st AOG commander, Valle has been selected to serve as the next Assistant Adjutant General-Air and Commander of the Florida Air National Guard.

“Torch (Colonel Valle) has done an exceptional job as commander of the 601st AOC, he has left the organization better than he found it, and I wish him well in his new role as the Assistant Adjutant General-Air and Commander of the Florida Air National Guard,” said Sasseville. “Frasier (Colonel Krane), I have complete faith you will build upon the AOC’s successes and meet the challenges of not only today but tomorrow as well, leading the AOC to even greater heights.”

During his time as 601st AOC commander, Valle oversaw more than 17,000 Operation NOBLE EAGLE sorties, established the AOC’s first Cyber Operations Cell, ensured that the AOC’s 24-7 no-fail homeland defense mission continued at an alternate location even during and 72 days following category 5 Hurricane Michael impacted the Florida panhandle, and most recently served as the Joint Air Component Coordination Element director in the Bahamas supporting Hurricane Dorian relief efforts.

Valle had a few special words for the men and women of America’s AOC.

“As I pass on the AOC flag this afternoon to Colonel Krane, I cannot help but reflect on my 21 year journey inside this compound,” said Valle. “If at any point you’ve heard me say, “we are a family,” it’s because I really mean it. I sincerely appreciate the support you’ve given me all these years and know that I truly appreciate every one of you. I will miss you! Best of luck and continue doing what you do best; taking care of each other and taking care of the mission!”

The 601st AOC is responsible for detecting, deterring, defending and if necessary, defeating any aviation threat to the citizens of the United States and to U.S. critical infrastructure.

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