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NEWS | July 16, 2018

502nd Force Support Group welcomes new commander

By Steve Elliott 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

One of the most unique organizations in the U.S. military, the 502nd Force Support Group, headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, welcomed Col. Samuel E. Fiol as its new commander in a change of command ceremony at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston base flagpole July 11.

Col. David L. Raugh relinquished command of the 502nd FSG during the ceremony, after serving as commander since June 22, 2016.

“Col. Raugh, you have been the right leader at the right time,” said Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman, 502nd Air Base Wing and JBSA Commander, of Raugh. “You leaned in and led with conviction, and you and your team delivered each and every day. From multiple hurricane relief efforts, to increased readiness and resiliency, to improvements in our infrastructure, the hallmark of your command has always been excellence. It has been an honor to serve with you.”

“The 502nd FSG is a great combination of Soldiers, Airmen and civilians and Colonel Raugh has taken excellent care of his people and their priorities,” said. Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, commanding general of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army). “He has set a great example in his loyalty to his people and to getting the job done.”

Fiol is a career Army military intelligence officer holding several command and staff positions across various echelons of the Army and in the joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational environment. He has served at nearly 10 different military installations, the National Capital Region and seven overseas environments since earning his commission at the Jacksonville State University in Alabama as a Distinguished Graduate of the Gamecock Battalion’s Reserve Officers Training Corps program in 1994.

“Colonel Fiol, I look forward to you taking the 502nd FSG into the next chapter of its storied history,” Lenderman said.

“Welcome back,” added Buchanan, who noted that Fiol’s parents have lived in San Antonio for the past 10 years. “We are looking forward to the new ideas and innovations you will bring in.”

“Sam, you lucked out in getting this command,” Raugh said to his successor. “It’s a challenge and a privilege. JBSA is a crucible which forges the shield of our combat enterprise. Our mission here is to forge winning teams and warriors.”

In accepting command of the 502nd FSG, Fiol said to Raugh, “Thank you your magnificent team’s support during the transition”.

“You have my pledge and my commitment to meet the demands we face in achieving and maintaining readiness,” Fiol added, in addressing the gathered audience of local political, civic and military leaders, as well as family, friends and others.