1-58th AOB welcomes new 'Guardian'
August 24, 2009
FORT RUCKER, Ala.--During a change of command ceremony Friday at Howze Field, 1-58th Airfield Operations Battalion (AOB) Soldiers welcomed incoming Commander Lt. Col. Thomas G. Moore.
Moore, the unit's second commander and a former professor of military science at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, now leads about 80 members of the 1-58th AOB, also known as the "Guardians."
Outgoing Commander Lt. Col. David J. Rude leaves behind a successful legacy after leading the unit since its inception here about two years ago. Unit members participated in a Middle East deployment, and while overseas, helped run three combat air traffic services facilities and controlled more than 500,000 combat Aviation traffic movements. AOB Soldiers returned home earlier this summer.
Moore expressed his gratitude to Rude for developing and leaving behind "one of the best ATS (Air Traffic Services) battalions in the Army" and said he looks forward to working with his new Soldiers.
As Rude bid farewell to the unit, he praised Soldiers for a job well done. "It's not the pure number of personnel that matters, it's the level of responsibility for which the unit is charged and accomplishes," Rude said. He noted that while small, the unit is comprised of "top-notch Soldiers" and has a "huge mission" and "tremendous responsibility."
As an ATS unit, AOB falls under the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group (TAOG) here. TAOG Commander Col. Jon P. Goodsmith said Rude has much to be proud of during AOB's brief history here. "Mission accomplished. Well done my friend," he said to the outgoing commander.
Goodsmith welcomed Moore, his wife, Lisa, and their sons, Justin, 6, and 21-month-old Hunter.
"We welcome you to the TAOG Family ... I know you are excited about the command adventure, which I promise you will be full of excitement, fun and experiences that you will remember for the rest of your lives. Enjoy command, lead and embrace these outstanding Soldiers," Goodsmith said.
During a brief ceremony before the change of command, Goodsmith presented Rude with the Legion of Merit Award for meritorious service as unit commander. Goodsmith also presented the outgoing commander's wife, Ruena, a 164th TAOG Certificate of Appreciation for her selfless volunteerism as AOB's former first lady.