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News > Change of Command set for June 23, Col. Damiano becomes 58th commander of historic wing
 
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Change of Command set for June 23, Col. Damiano becomes 58th commander of historic wing
FORT GEORGE MEADE, Md. -- Col. Mark T. Damiano addresses the audience after relinquishing command of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group during a change of command ceremony at Fort George Meade, Md., June 8. Colonel Damiano will become the 58th commander of the historic 17th Training Wing during a 9 a.m. ceremony June 23 at the Goodfellow Parade Field. (Courtesy photo)
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Change of Command set for June 23, Col. Damiano becomes 58th commander of historic wing

Posted 6/14/2011   Updated 6/14/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Kent Cummins
17th Training Wing Public Affairs


6/14/2011 - GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas  -- The 17th Training Wing Change of Command is set for 9 a.m. June 23 at the Parade Field here.

Col. Mark T. Damiano, Commander of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, Ft. Meade, Md., will become the 58th commander of the historic 17th TRW. He will replace Col. Thomas Geary, who is headed for San Antonio as the new Commander of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, Texas.

Maj. Gen. Mary Kay Hertog, Second Air Force Commander, will preside over the ceremony.

"The 17th Training Wing is responsible for training the world's finest intelligence and firefighting professionals," said Colonel Damiano. "It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve alongside these exceptionally talented and dedicated professionals."

The colonel has commanded the 70th ISRG since June 2009. He holds a Bachelor of Science in International Affairs from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.; a Master of Science in Management from Central Michigan University; a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategy Studies (with academic distinction) from the Naval War College; and a Master of Arts in National Security Strategy from the National War College. The colonel is also an Honor Graduate of the Imagery Intelligence Officer Course at Goodfellow.

Colonel Damiano, who received his commission in 1989 from the U.S. Air Force Academy, said he looks forward to "working with our young service men and women."

"They are America's top one percent; the one percent of our country's population currently serving in uniform," said Colonel Damiano. "The impact they will have on the safety and security of our nation is simply immeasurable. Our mission is to make sure they are ready for that responsibility."

Colonel Damiano has served in various operational and staff assignments throughout the Air Force to include tours in Germany, California, Hawaii and the Pentagon.

Following his duty as an Executive Support Officer to the Secretary and Deputy Secretaries of Defense, Colonel Damiano served as the Junior Military Assistant to both Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.

As commander of the 488th Intelligence Squadron, he led more than 353 personnel at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, U.K., and Naval Support Activity, Souda Bay, Greece.

Although they have traveled the world, Colonel Damiano, and his wife, Ellery, are elated about coming to San Angelo.

"Ellery and I are thrilled," he said. "There is no other base in our Air Force that enjoys the type of relationship that Goodfellow has with San Angelo and the surrounding community. We look forward to joining the community and strengthening that relationship where ever possible."

Colonel Damiano also has extensive combat experience - including command of the 763rd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and more than 320 combat hours on the RC-135 Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft.

His major awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit; Defense Superior Service Medal; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters; the Air Medal; the Aerial Achievement Medal; the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; the Joint Service Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster; and the Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster.



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