PEORIA, IL (11/05/2017) (readMedia)-- The commander of the 182nd Operations Group took command of the Illinois Air National Guard's 182nd Airlift Wing during a change of command ceremony Nov. 4 in Peoria, Illinois.
Col. Daniel McDonough received the unit's guidon from outgoing-commander Col. William "Robbie" Robertson, a tradition symbolizing the transfer of authority, during a drill weekend commander's call with the unit's Airmen.
"It's an awesome feeling, because the people here are amazing," said McDonough. "It's an honor to give them a direction and let them go. The culture of this unit is amazing."
The new commander commissioned into the Illinois Air National Guard 30 years ago and served in leadership roles including C-130 Hercules flight commander, 169th Airlift Squadron commander and 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander before his selection to lead the 182nd Operations Group in 2006.
He has amassed more than 5,400 flight hours - 700 of them in combat - in seven aircraft including the OA-37 Dragonfly, F-16 Fighting Falcon and C-130 Hercules. He is a veteran of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom with 10 deployments under his belt and is the recipient of three Meritorious Service Medals and the Legion of Merit.
Robertson told the unit to keep up their historical excellence for the new commander.
"The wing's performance has been phenomenal and as your outgoing commander, I could not be more proud of each and every one of you," said Robertson. "Many more challenges await the wing and Col. McDonough and I know you will rise to the challenge."
Now-Brig. Gen. Robertson will now serve as the chief of staff for the Illinois Air National Guard as McDonough becomes a fixture in the top tier of the unit's 1,200 Airmen and their missions in the state, federal and domestic battlespaces.
"I don't have to make a lot of changes, because the unit is clicking and doing so well," said McDonough. "Without a whole lot of direction, these people seek excellence. We just have to tell them what to do, what the goal is, and they will get us there."
The 182nd Airlift Wing operates the C-130H Hercules airframe, and its mission is to provide air, ground, communication and support services to the state and federal governments. McDonough will serve at the unit's 16th commander.