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Hill’s 388th Fighter Wing welcomes new operations group leader

Col. Joshua "Dog" Wood took command of the 388th Operations Group during a ceremony at Hill Air Force Base July 9.

Col. Joshua "Dog" Wood took command of the 388th Operations Group during a ceremony at Hill Air Force Base July 9. Col. Wood will oversee three combat-coded F-35A fighter squadrons and an operations support squadron, which are responsible for deploying anywhere in the world in support of combatant commanders. (U.S. Air Force photo/Todd Cromar)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, -- Colonel Joshua "Dog" Wood took command of the 388th Operations Group during a change of command ceremony here July 9.

Airmen, base leadership and community members attended the ceremony.

As commander of the operations group, Col. Wood oversees three combat-coded F-35A fighter squadrons and an operations support squadron, which are responsible for deploying anywhere in the world in support of combatant commanders.

Wood is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, an F-16 pilot with more than 180 combat hours, an initial cadre F-35A pilot, and comes to Hill Air Force Base from the National War College in Washington, D.C., where he was a distinguished graduate.

Wood said he looks forward to partnering with base and community leaders to take care of Airmen and carry out the vital national defense mission of the Air Force’s first combat F-35A unit.

“Our Airmen play a vital role in deterring the enemy, and if that deterrence fails, stepping into the gap to rapidly deploy combat air power,” Wood said. “I’m humbled to serve with you.”  

During the ceremony, the group also bid farewell to Col. Jason Rueschhoff who took command in August 2016 and led the unit through the F-35As initial operational capability decision, it’s first Red Flag exercise, and two deployments, one to England and the other to Japan.