Dispatch from Ali Base, Iraq

Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff sends us more news of life and events at Ali Base, Iraq.

This past week has been a busy one for Airmen of the 407th Air Expeditionary Group at Ali Base, Iraq. On April 23, four original members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen accompanied Lt. Gen. Gary L. North, 9th Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Central Commander, and Lt. Gen. (ret.) Russell C. Davis, president of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. They received a mission briefing and paid their respects to the Airmen’s Memorial in the Bedrock community of the base. Afterward, group members attended an Airmen’s Call where they met and asked questions of the distinguished visitors, and had their pictures taken.
“We are impressed with your national service, your contributions and the pride we have in your accomplishments because we know that you are the leaders of today who will lead the leaders of tomorrow,” said Maj. (ret.) George Boyd, one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. “And I thank you from the folks back home because they love you. They support you and are dedicated to your service.”

April 29 was another big day for the 407th AEG as it underwent a change-of-command. Col. Glen A. Apgar took command of the group from Col. Mark Ware.  Stormy weather moved the planned outdoor ceremony to the Big Top. Despite the last-minute change, everything went off as planned. Colonel Apgar expressed his pride in becoming the new commander of the 407th. “There is nothing

Brig. Gen. Brian T. Bishop, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, presents the 407th AEG guidon to Col. Glen Apgar.
Brig. Gen. Brian T. Bishop, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, presents the 407th AEG guidon to Col. Glen Apgar.

more humbling than the honor and privilege to lead these great American heroes in this combat zone.”

The USAFCENT Combined Air and Space Operations Center Public Affairs Office produces a weekly product titled “AOR Week in Photos.”  This week, the 407th AEG Public Affairs Office photographer had three photographs selected for display.  They were photos of the Tuskegee Airmen visiting the Airmen’s Memorial, an Ali Base firefighter conducting training and Airman 1st Class Daniel Roberts singing with musician Nell Bryden.

For more on these stories, including additional photos, click below

Original Tuskegee Airmen, General North visit Ali Base
407th AEG changes hands in ceremony