Denehan named new 23rd FTS commander
July 12, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 12, 2012) -- While the outgoing commander of the Air Force 23rd Flying Training Squadron is trekking across the country for his next assignment, the incoming commander is just moving down the hall.
During a change of command ceremony July 3, Lt. Col. William F. Denehan, the squadron's former director of operations, accepted command responsibilities from outgoing commander Lt. Col. Stephen R. Moyes. The two have served together at Fort Rucker for the past two years.
Denehan said it had been an honor and a privilege to serve with Moyes and it was a pleasure to take command of such a dedicated group of people. He challenged the squadron to maintain its standard of excellence because of the unique position the 23rd holds as the Air Force's only undergraduate helicopter training program.
"For every student that passes through your squadron, there is a very great possibility he or she will be a co-pilot, aircraft commander or instructor in the unit you [move] to in your next assignment," he said.
Denehan served as an Army warrant officer helicopter pilot from 1986 to 1993; then entered the Air Force the same year. His assignments since entering the Air Force include the 55th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., the 512th Special Operations Squadron at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., the 33 Squadron (Royal Air Force), and the 6th Special Operations Squadron, also at Hurlburt Field.
He was also assigned to the Aviation Tactics Evaluation Group, Joint Special Operations Command as Chief of Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.
Denehan has received a Silver Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Aerial Achievement Medal, Joint Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster and several other awards and decorations.
"I definitely did not think I would be back here at Fort Rucker almost 26 years after arriving here as an Army warrant officer candidate in 1986 to take command of an Air Force squadron," he said. "That future was incomprehensible to me in that long-ago past, but I'm glad it's my present reality today."
During the ceremony, Col. Dagvin Anderson, commander of the 58th Operations Group, 58th Special Operations Wing, Air Education and Training Command at Kirtland AFB, said he couldn't "think of anyone more prepared and able to take command of the future of the Air Force's vertical lift program."
"You've had a hand in forming this team and I have no doubt you'll continue the 23rd's legacy of excellence," he said. "We will definitely be counting on you."
Moyes is leaving Fort Rucker to continue his career as the deputy group commander at 563rd Rescue Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
His previous assignments include the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo., the 33rd Rescue Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and the 41st Rescue Squadron at Moody AFB, Ga. He has also held positions at the Air Force Academy and was assigned to the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph AFB, Texas, where he served as the chief of special operations and helicopter assignments.
Moyes has received the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Unit Award, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters, and several other awards and decorations.
During the ceremony, he praised the work of squadron and credited his team for the successes of the past two years.
"I wanted one last time to recognize this outstanding team of professionals that I have," Moyes said. "You guys are what made us successful. You've made me proud on a daily basis and you're the reason we've always been able to complete our mission."
Moyes said that with Denehan as his replacement, he knew he was leaving the squadron in good hands.