New commander takes reins at Dobbins Air Reserve Base
A change in command ceremony recently took place at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, marking the transition of leadership to the new commander of the 94th Airlift Wing, Col. Michael B. Parks.
Col. Carl J. Magnusson, the outgoing commander, handed over control of the base to Col. Parks amidst the presence of numerous airmen, family friends, and distinguished guests, who gathered within one of the hangars for the event.
The change of command ceremony is a significant military tradition that symbolizes the official transfer of authority and responsibility from one officer to another within a military unit.
This ritual holds great importance as it provides subordinates with the opportunity to witness and acknowledge the formal passing of command from the outgoing officer to the incoming one. The Air Force defines this ceremony as a way to uphold the sense of order, hierarchy, and continuity within the unit’s leadership structure.
Brigadier Gen. Melissa A. Coburn, commander of the 22nd Air Force, graced the ceremony with her presence and extended her congratulations and gratitude to Magnusson for his exceptional performance during his tenure at Dobbins. As a token of appreciation, Coburn bestowed upon Magnusson the Legion of Merit medal, acknowledging his outstanding service and accomplishments throughout his leadership, which commenced in October 2021. Magnusson offered a welcome message to Parks as he prepared to accept command saying, “There is no one in this Air Force that I would rather pass this unit to than my good friend, Col. Michael Parks.”
In welcoming Parks to his new role, Coburn spoke highly of his capabilities and dedication. Parks, in his address to the attendees, expressed his deep gratitude for being entrusted with the crucial responsibility of leading and caring for airmen. He stated, “I can think of no greater honor in my professional life.”
Before assuming his current position, Parks held the role of commander for the 507th Air Refueling Wing at Tinker Air Force Base near Oklahoma City. His extensive career has seen him serve in various locations across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Additionally, he held the position of Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs.
The 94th Airlift Wing has a notable history, having participated in critical operations such as Allies Refuge and Allies Welcome evacuations in Afghanistan in 2021. Prior to that, the wing played a pivotal role in missions involving Ebola patient transfers, COVID-19 patient quarantine, and various other operations.