New 23rd FTS commander 'prepared to tackle challenges'
Twenty-third Flying Training Squadron incoming Commander Lt. Col. Stephen Moyes addresses the unit during a change of command ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum June 23. Moyes replaced Lt. Col. Brett Hauenstein who commanded the unit since 2008.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Members of the U.S. Air Force 23rd Flying Training Squadron welcomed their new commander, Lt. Col. Stephen R. Moyes, during a change of command ceremony June 23 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.

Moyes' previous assignment was director of operations for the 94th Flight Training Squadron, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. He assumed command from Lt. Col. Brett R. Hauenstein, who departed Fort Rucker to continue his military career at the Joint Advanced Warfighting School in Norfolk, Va.

Fifty-eighth Operations Group Commander Col. Robert Abernathy welcomed the new commander and said he believes Moyes is "well prepared to tackle the challenges that lie ahead."

"The 23rd FTS is in good hands," he said. "He brings the perfect blend of experience and know-how to continue the good works of (the unit). (He) has my utmost confidence and I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for the 23rd FTS."

Moyes, a St. Louis native, commissioned as an Air Force officer in 1992 after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in history from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is joined here by his wife, Lucinda, and their five children.

"(It's) such a privilege to take over command of such amazing people," he said. "What I've seen (so far) is amazing. This is the best team (of training students) I've ever seen. (Fort Rucker is) turning out the best helicopter pilots in the world."

Abernathy thanked Hauenstein for his service and described him as a "seasoned, forged by fire" commander.

Hauenstein earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from the University of Nebraska in 1989 and was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force through the Air Force ROTC program. He moved to the installation with his wife, Sandra, and daughter.

"Two years ago, there was a vision that the 23rd FTS would continue to train the U.S. military's best helicopter pilots. We've worked very hard on that and strived every day to make sure our students leave here with skills that are unparalleled throughout the world," he said. "This vision was not carried by one person, but by all of those involved with the 23rd FTS."

He thanked the unit for working hard over the last two years and told them to remember they are a team.

"My dad always told me to 'always do the best you can do'," he said. "Never forget the smallest contributors or contributions."

The 23d Flying Training Squadron falls under the 58th Operations Group, 58th Special Operations Wing, Air Education and Training Command, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. It conducts the Air Force's only specialized undergraduate helicopter pilot training, and is the Air Force's primary source of helicopter pilots for special operations, combat search and rescue mission support and distinguished visitor airlift missions.

Page last updated Thu July 1st, 2010 at 10:55