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NEWS | July 11, 2023

3rd Audiovisual Squadron welcomes new commander

By Airman 1st Class John Lewis IV 3rd Audiovisual Squadron Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Karl Wiest officially handed over command of the 3rd Audiovisual Squadron to Air Force Maj. Korey Fratini at a change of command ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland July 7, 2023.

Air Force Col. Tony Wickman, Air Force Public Affairs Agency commander, presided over the ceremony.

“In today’s world, we’re on the verge of a new phase, one where there’s, for the first time ever, two near-peer competitors that are nuclear powered,” Wickman said. “We need public affairs professionals to be able to shape the information environment and communicate what the Air and Space Forces do for the nation.”

During his farewell speech, Wiest expressed pride in the accomplishments of the squadron's members over the past two years.

"To the men and women of the 3rd Audiovisual Squadron, your reputation precedes you, and it was my absolute honor to be a very small part of this wonderful, wonderful team,” Wiest said. “To watch you exponentially advance and expand our mission has been, and will always remain, the highlight of my Air Force career.”

Following the formal transfer of command, Fratini received his first salute as the new commander of the 3d Audiovisual Squadron and voiced his gratitude to the entire team.

"I would like to thank the men and women of the 3d Audiovisual Squadron. Without all of you, today would not be possible," Fratini said. “I'm grateful for your service and sacrifice to this squadron, the Air Force, and our nation.”

Fratini brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He has demonstrated his expertise by leading strategic communication efforts for numerous international exercises across Europe and Africa. He also played a vital role in supporting humanitarian missions, including providing assistance during rescue operations in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.

As Wiest moves on to his next assignment, he will assume a role at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., contributing his expertise to the Air Force in the nation's capital.