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114th Fighter Squadron Command Change

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson
  • 173rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Lt. Col. Robert "Leif" Erickson passed the reigns of leadership to Lt. Col. Whitney "Crab" Sieben during a change of command ceremony for the 114th Fighter Squadron Feb. 14, 2011, at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore.

Standing before an assembly of ops and maintenance troops, as well as many others from around the base Erickson looked back upon his tenure fondly.

"I'll remember the instructor pilots of the 'Land of No Slack'. I'll remember your unparalleled efforts of the past year-and-a-half and your dedication to the mission while deployed and your ability to get the job done while we prepared for our two inspections," he said. "You are the best cadre' of instructor pilots on the planet and I salute each and every one of you."

He went on to recount a busy two years beginning with Sentry Displacement, where the entire wing relocated to Boise, Idaho to facilitate runway reconstruction, and followed with the highly successful Unit Compliance Inspection.

He specifically mentioned the integral efforts of the maintenance group, which among other things upgraded every Kingsley jet with higher performing -220 engines.
With that both men came to attention and Col. James "Cannon" Kriesel conferred command of the 114th upon Sieben with the traditional passing of the unit guidon.

As the newly minted commander of the squadron Sieben addressed the crowd thanking the command for the faith they have placed in him and detailing why the mission of training the best fighter pilots in the U.S. Air Force is key to our success on the battlefield.

"There are those that would have us believe that we will always own the sky and we don't need to invest in air superiority," Sieben said. "They say we are so powerful that the bad guys bury their aircraft instead of fighting us--yes they do, and you just made my point for me.

We want to have an overwhelming advantage, because by doing so, we will accomplish what we desire most--deterrence, dissuasion and peace through strength."

Effective March 4, 2011 Erickson assumed the position of State Director of Operations for Air at Joint Force Headquarters in Salem, Ore.

The ceremony concluded with the playing of the Air Force Song while the official party filed out of the hangar.