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New Phoenix takes reigns to keep Wolf Pack flying

U.S. Air Force Col. George Sebren, 8th Maintenance Group commander, speaks to the 8th Fighter Wing June 28, 2017, during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Sebren took command of the 8th MXG from Col. James Long and, upon assuming the position, received the title of “Phoenix.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. George Sebren, 8th Maintenance Group commander, speaks to the 8th Fighter Wing June 28, 2017, during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Sebren took command of the 8th MXG from Col. James Long and, upon assuming the position, received the title of “Phoenix.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. David Shoemaker, 8th Fighter Wing commander, Col. James Long, 8th Maintenance Group outgoing commander, and Col. George Sebren, 8th MXG incoming commander, salute June 28, 2017, during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. During the ceremony, Long relinquished command of the 8th MXG to Sebren. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. David Shoemaker, 8th Fighter Wing commander, Col. James Long, 8th Maintenance Group outgoing commander, and Col. George Sebren, 8th MXG incoming commander, salute June 28, 2017, during a change of command ceremony at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. During the ceremony, Long relinquished command of the 8th MXG to Sebren. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. George Sebren, 8th Maintenance Group commander, receives the guidon from Col. David Shoemaker, 8th Fighter Wing commander, during a change of command ceremony held June 28, 2017, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Shoemaker presided over the ceremony in which Col. James Long relinquished command of the 8th MXG to Sebren. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. George Sebren, 8th Maintenance Group commander, receives the guidon from Col. David Shoemaker, 8th Fighter Wing commander, during a change of command ceremony held June 28, 2017, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Shoemaker presided over the ceremony in which Col. James Long relinquished command of the 8th MXG to Sebren. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. George Sebren, 8th Maintenance Group commander, speaks to the 8th Fighter Wing during a change of command ceremony June 28, 2017, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Sebren took command of the 8th MXG from Col. James Long and, upon assuming the position, received the title of “Phoenix.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. George Sebren, 8th Maintenance Group commander, speaks to the 8th Fighter Wing during a change of command ceremony June 28, 2017, at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Sebren took command of the 8th MXG from Col. James Long and, upon assuming the position, received the title of “Phoenix.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee/Released)

Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Air Force Col. George H. Sebren accepted command of the 8th Maintenance Group from Col. James E. Long during a change of command ceremony June 28, 2017, here.

Col. David Shoemaker, 8th Fighter Wing commander, presided over the ceremony, welcoming Sebren and remarking on the accomplishments of Long and the Airmen of the 8th MXG.

“We select the best and brightest. We train and educate like no military or branch has ever seen before, and we develop leaders at every level,” said Shoemaker. “I climb the ladder with confidence because I know our maintainers are well-led.”

More than 1,200 8th MXG men and women ensure their contingent fleet of F-16 aircraft is ready to fight at a moment’s notice through expert maintenance. Long offered his gratitude to these Airmen who’ve kept the aircraft— and the pilots inside them— flying.

“I am awestruck by the incredible accomplishments of the Air Force’s best maintainers. I could list many; however, the list is just too long,” said Long. “But, you, the maintainers, ensured that the Wolf Pack was ready every day to ‘Fight Tonight’ with aircraft that were more capable than the day before and with maintainers that were more proficient in their craft.”

Aircraft availability forms a direct component of war readiness; Sebren aims to continue the 8th MXG’s solid reputation for mission-capable aircraft ready to meet any demand and defend the Korean peninsula.

“Command is a privilege and honor. I am excited for the opportunity to lead this amazing group,” said Sebren.

“Airmen of the MXG, you make the mission happen every day. Thank you for what you do in the heat, cold, sun, rain, and snow. The mission does not happen without you. We will remained focused on the mission of this storied fighter wing. With a positive attitude, we will find a way to meet our challenges head-on. Teamwork with our mission partners will ensure we ‘defend the base, accept follow-on forces, and take the fight north.’”