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Fogarty bids farewell to Lackland

By Mike Joseph | 502nd Air Base Wing OL-A Public Affairs | July 9, 2010

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — If there's a buzzword around the 802nd Mission Support Group these days, it could easily be "transition."

Recent transitions include leaving the 37th Training Wing as the 37th MSG, realigning as the 802nd MSG under the 502nd Air Base Wing, and becoming part of the largest joint base in the Department of Defense.

Another transition took place Wednesday with an 802nd MSG change of command ceremony at the Gateway Club. Col. Richard Houghton assumed command from Col. Patrick Fogarty, who guided the group through this year's transition to Joint Base San Antonio.

"It's been a lot of fun and very eye opening," said Colonel Fogarty. "It was a challenge transitioning to JBSA and getting the Lackland pieces off the ground."

Colonel Fogarty said having the installation commander, Brig. Gen. Leonard Patrick, 502nd ABW commander, headquartered at Fort Sam Houston was a big change along with new responsibilities for himself and the MSG staff when JBSA stood up last February.

"We've taken it as far as we can over the first six months, and I think it will be a good time for the baton to change," he said. "We've done a lot but there's still plenty of work to do."

In addition to Colonel Houghton's arrival, both deputy commanders and five of the seven squadron commanders will also be new to the 802nd MSG in the coming weeks.

Colonel Fogarty said the leadership changes are positive because the new leadership will only be familiar with JBSA, adding "they're going to know how it is now, not when we were part of the 37th TRW."

During his command, which began in October 2008, Colonel Fogarty cited the successful beginning of a civilian leadership development program. He also included the progress made of the increasing business roles for MSG flight commanders and chiefs, along with the organization looking further ahead in future planning and improvements.

"(The civilian leadership development program) was good for the group because we depend so much on civilians," he said. "It helped provide energy into their professional lives. I'm most satisfied with that because the program got where I wanted it to be."

A career civil engineer officer, Colonel Fogarty left Lackland for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon to become the logistics engineering chief.

"It's going to be something different from the day-to-day operations at Lackland," he said.