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The 145th Maintenance Group Gets a New Commander, Not a New leader.

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  • By 1Lt Michael Wilber
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During a Change of Command ceremony Saturday, as Col David Zartman relinquished command of the 145th Maintenance Group to Lt Col Marshall C. Collins several attendees commented on how Zartman cared about and focused on his people.

"As long as I have been in the military I have never heard a commander stand up and say he loves his people, he does it and means it." said Senior Master Sgt David Ferrell.

Under Zartman's tenure there were numerous programs put in place, including some to increase communication up and down the chain of command. One allows all the enlisted members of the Maintenance Group to ask questions and voice concerns to a panel of all of the Chief Master Sgts in the Group.

"Col Zartman established the Chiefs one on one. All of the officers leave and you can ask anything." said Staff Sgt Jerad L. Bell.

Where it is evident Zartman will be missed, Collins is no stranger to leading the Maintenance Group.

"Marshall (Collins) was chosen to command the 118th Air Support Operations Squadron, a role he served in for more than 2 years, because that is where there was a need, although outside of his flying role, he graciously accepted the challenge and exceeded expectations. When we needed a Maintenance Group Deputy, he was my first recommendation. Col Zartman, the Maintenance Group Commander, whole heartedly concurred with his selection based on his abilities and people skills." said Brig Gen Tony E. McMillan, the 145th Airlift Wing Commander.

Collins was assigned as the Deputy Maintenance group Commander militarily and the Deputy Maintenance Group Director for the full-time staff. This position is the second of command for the military staff and leads the full-time staff in accordance with the Commander's vision.

"I've worked with Lt Col Collins previously in Operations, and have been working across the hall from in maintenance. One thing about him is he is a leader, delegator, doer. You've got to get it done before he gets to it." said Chief Master Sgt David Stafford.

Under Zartman and Collins, the Maintenance Group successfully completed a recent Logistics Compliance Assessment Program inspection.

"He (Collins) knocked it out of the park leading towards the LCAP with an overall 'Outstanding' for the Maintenance Group. He was the full-time force behind the preparations." said McMillan, continuing his support.

Collins closed, "Colonel Zartman has continued a tradition of excellence in the Maintenance Group and I will do my best to look out for the people of the organization, and work to do the utmost to continue Colonel Zartman's success.... In the coming months we will have future challenges, with exercises, inspections, and deployments, and I know we will be successful."