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433rd Airlift Wing welcomes new commander

By Master Sgt. Kristian Carter | 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs | March 8, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas —
With a C-5M Super Galaxy as the backdrop, and 433rd Airlift Wing members standing in formation, Col. Thomas K. Smith Jr, relinquished his command to Col. Terry W. McClain. Maj. Gen. Randall A. Ogden, 4th Air Force commander, presided over the 433rd Airlift Wing’s change of command ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland March 3.

Smith had a few words for the distinguished guests, family members, guests and wing members in attendance at the event held in the 433rd Maintenance Squadron’s fuel cell hangar.

“Thank you for your sacrifices and can-do-attitude toward mission accomplishment. You have humbled and inspired me. Thank you for your patriotism and service to this great nation!”

During the ceremony, Ogden accepted the guidon from Smith and then passed it to McClain signifying the transfer of command of the 433rd Airlift Wing.

McClain thanked attendees for their presence and leadership and for the opportunity to lead the wing.

“I am honored and humbled to be standing here as your commander. For the last few months, all I had heard when I asked about the 433rd was that I was getting an awesome wing. Over the last few days, I have personally seen your excellent teamwork in action both on and off duty. I look forward to getting to know each of you better and learning from you. May God bless all of you and God bless America.”

McClain leaves his position as the 610th Air Operations Group commander at March Air Reserve Base, California.

McClain entered the Air Force in 1989, earning his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps after graduating from the University of Tennessee. He is a command pilot with more than 3,200 hours including combat time in support of Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Resolute Support. 

In 2018, he deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar as the Combined Air Operations Center Battle Director and later as the Deputy CAOC Director where he oversaw all Coalition aircraft operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.