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158th FW Welcomes New Commander

  • Published
  • 158th Fighter Wing

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Col. Daniel Finnegan assumed command of the 158th Fighter Wing during a change of command ceremony at the Vermont Air National Guard Base on October 16 at 2:00 p.m.

During the ceremony, Col. David Shevchik, Jr. relinquished command after serving since January of 2020. Under his command, the wing exited conversion and became the only operational F-35 wing in the Air National Guard, successfully deployed to Europe in support of ongoing NATO Air Shielding missions and supported the state COVID-19 response mission.

“You exemplify servant leadership. Because of your efforts our fighter wing consistently performs better than our peers across the globe,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Knight, adjutant general for the Vermont National Guard. “There’s a reason this wing was given the F-35 mission and your work has proven that Vermont and the 158th Fighter Wing were the right choice. Job well done, Caesar.”

The Director of Aviation at the Burlington International Airport, Nicolas Longo, spoke to Shevchik during the ceremony about the longstanding relationship between the airport and the Vermont Air National Guard.

“We have worked together on many challenging projects. Thank you for your outstanding support and your service to our airport, our communities, our state and our nation. Each project that you’ve been a part of contributes to the legacy that you’re handing off,” said Longo. “Our two organizations are integral to the ecosystem of this airport, and I can’t thank you enough for your leadership and commitment throughout these years.”

Before relinquishing command, Shevchik spoke to the wing for a final time.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to address the wing one last time as your wing commander, which has truly been the honor of a lifetime,” said Shevchik. “I’m grateful and humbled to have this opportunity to lead and represent the women and men of the Green Mountain Boys, especially as a born and raised Vermonter.”

“Col. Finnegan, it is with the utmost confidence that I relinquish command of this wing to you today, as I know you’ll serve their needs and mission requirements with the same commitment and thoughtful intention that you always have,” said Shevchik.

The passing of the wing guidon from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander symbolizes the transfer of command. Chief Master Sgt. Adrianne Schulz, 158th Fighter Wing command chief, passed the guidon to Shevchik, who in turn passed the guidon to Knight, relinquishing command. Knight then passed the guidon to Finnegan, entrusting him with the responsibility and care of the 158th Fighter Wing.

“Over my years here, I’ve seen this organization change numerous times. Our Airmen come from further and further away and we get more and more diverse every year. But the strength of our culture and experience of our Airmen and the grit of the Green Mountain Boys will rise to every challenge,” said Finnegan. “I look forward to working with and for each of you in the coming years. I’m humbled and extremely proud to serve along each of you as we stand upon the legacy of the past and build the VTANG for the future.”

“Col. Finnegan, it is your task to continue the remarkable trajectory of our fighter wing,” said Knight. “I have every confidence that you and your team with experience and depth of knowledge and the maturity to ensure mission success no matter the mission.”