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145th Airlift Wing Starts a New Chapter

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Troy Gerock (right) accepts command of the 145th Airlift Wing from Brig. Gen. Roger E. Williams Jr. (left), Assistant Adjutant General for Air, North Carolina Air National Guard (NCANG), during a change of command ceremony held at the NCANG Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Oct. 1, 2016. Gerock is a C-130 Hercules aircraft pilot and has been a member of the NCANG for 23 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff. Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Troy Gerock (right) accepts command of the 145th Airlift Wing from Brig. Gen. Roger E. Williams Jr. (left), Assistant Adjutant General for Air, North Carolina Air National Guard (NCANG), during a change of command ceremony held at the NCANG Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Oct. 1, 2016. Gerock is a C-130 Hercules aircraft pilot and has been a member of the NCANG for 23 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff. Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Troy Gerock, commander of the 145th Airlift Wing, introduces himself to Airmen of the North Carolina Air National Guard (NCANG) during a change of command ceremony held at the NCANG Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Oct. 1, 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Laura J. Montgomery)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Troy Gerock, commander of the 145th Airlift Wing, introduces himself to Airmen of the North Carolina Air National Guard (NCANG) during a change of command ceremony held at the NCANG Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Oct. 1, 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Laura J. Montgomery)

U.S. Air Force Director of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, North Carolina Air National Guard (NCANG) Brig. Gen. Clarence Ervin, says farewell with gratitude to Col. Marshall C. Collins for his years of dedication and leadership to the 145th Airlift Wing following a change of command ceremony held at the NCANG Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Oct. 1, 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Laura J. Montgomery)

U.S. Air Force Director of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, North Carolina Air National Guard (NCANG) Brig. Gen. Clarence Ervin, says farewell with gratitude to Col. Marshall C. Collins for his years of dedication and leadership to the 145th Airlift Wing following a change of command ceremony held at the NCANG Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Oct. 1, 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Laura J. Montgomery)

The 440th North Carolina Army National Guard Band perform various ceremonious pieces during a change of command ceremony held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Oct. 1, 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Laura J. Montgomery)

The 440th North Carolina Army National Guard Band perform various ceremonious pieces during a change of command ceremony held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Oct. 1, 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Laura J. Montgomery)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The 145th Airlift Wing starts a new chapter and welcomes Col. Michael Troy Gerock as their commander during a Change of Command ceremony held at the North Carolina Air National Guard (NCANG) Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Oct. 1, 2016. The ceremony was officiated by Brig. Gen. Roger E. Williams Jr., Assistant Adjutant General for Air, NCANG.

Gerock is a C-130 Hercules aircraft pilot, and has been a member of the NCANG for 23 years. His history with NCANG goes back much further to the 1970's when his father was also a C-130 Hercules pilot for the unit.

"It's like coming home for me. I can remember being on base when I was four or five while my father was off flying," said Gerock.

Col. Marshall C. Collins, has served more than two years as the commander and leaves "big shoes to fill," said Senior Master Sgt. Martha Roman, 145th Airlift Wing command section.

"Col. Collins is truly a people person. He knows not only your name, but your children's names, and your parents' names," said Roman.

For exemplary service to the 145th AW, Collins was awarded the Legion of Merit. Collins commanded 1,500 Airmen, 10 C-130 Hercules aircraft which flew 2,500 sorties, and deployed 300 Airmen.

Collins passes the helm to Gerock during a time of transition from the C-130 Hercules aircraft to the C-17 Globemaster III which will occur during the next five years.

Gerock brings a wealth of experience to the 145th AW with notable staff assignments including Base Closure and Realignment Commission Implementation Officer, Mobility Air Force Programmer, Air National Guard Advisor to the Assistants to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for National Guard and Reserve Matters, Chief of ANG Programs, and Director of Manpower, Personnel, and Services.

"I'm excited about the new mission and to see how our new commander will lead us through this. He is a hard charger, and you can feel that energy," said Roman.

"We're converting, and I can't do this by myself. It's the great men and women of this unit that'll make it happen. My job is to keep everyone focused and motivated," said Gerock.