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SEADS welcomes new commander

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- June 22 marked a formal change of command ceremony here led by Maj. Gen. M. Scott Mayes, Air Forces Northern (First Air Force) and Continental United States NORAD Region commander, as the flag of command of the 601st Expeditionary Air Operations Group passed from Col. Charles M. Campbell to Col. David E. Kriner. Campbell has moved on to serve as the Vice Commander for AFNORTH (1AF).

In an emotionally-charged speech, Colonel Campbell bid farewell to the men and women of the Southeast Air Defense Sector. SEADS achieved several milestones under the command of Colonel Campbell, which included most of the preliminary work in the modernization effort of the Air Operations Center building construction and the work required to consolidate three air defense sectors into two sectors.

SEADS and the 601st EAOG will soon stand down and become the AFNORTH AOC. Colonel Kriner's job title will then be designated the AFNORTH AOC commander and director. The consolidation of these sectors and the designated organizational title change will likely occur prior to October 2006 predicated upon the completion of the building construction and staffing of the organizational name designation by Air Combat Command and the Air Staff.

Colonel Kriner has an extensive military background and is ideally suited for command. He was commissioned in May 1985 through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Maryland and then attended undergraduate pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., in February 1986. He was a distinguished graduate and outstanding graduate of the F-15 Replacement Training Unit at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and Squadron Officers School. He won the 1994 Counter Air Fighter Long Bow Air-to-Air Competition, and was then selected to attend the Air Force Fighter Weapons School. Colonel Kriner has also participated in Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Northern and Southern Watch.

In January 1996, Colonel Kriner was assigned to the 53rd Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. As a squadron and wing weapons officer, Colonel Kriner lead the 53rd FS and U.S. Air Forces in Europe on two separate "firsts" - an F-15/F-16 verses MiG-29 deployment to Laage, Germany and a combined deployment to Powdiz, Poland upon that country's entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In December 2000, Colonel Kriner became a member of the Florida Air National Guard and was assigned to the SEADS Detachment 1 at Tyndall AFB. As a member of the 95th Fighter Squadron, Colonel Kriner served as the 325th Fighter Wing weapons officer, 95th FS assistant director of operations and then director for operations. His key leadership paved the way for the 95th FS's outstanding and excellent ratings for the Air Education and Training Command's Operational Readiness Inspections in 2001 and 2003. In August 2003, Colonel Kriner became the SEADS deputy commander for operations.

As the SEADS and 601st EAOG transition into the AFNORTH AOC, the men and women assigned under his command look forward to serving Colonel Kriner as he becomes the first commander/director of the only war fighter headquarters AOC manned and operated by the Air National Guard on a full-time basis.

(Editor's Note: This story was written by Lt. Col. David R. Barwinski, Southeast Air Defense Sector Special Assistant to the Director of Support.)