AOG welcomes new leader, says goodbye to Sanborn
August 23, 2012
A new leader will oversee flight operations in the National Capital Region.
Col. William D. McGarrity assumed command of the U.S. Army Air Operations Group from Col. Scott E. Sanborn during a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 16.
McGarrity informed AOG Soldiers that all policies, standard operation procedures and procedures remain in effect pending further review. McGarrity's goals include continuing AOG success in customer service and flight missions.
"(McGarrity) is the perfect leader to take the reigns of AOG and continue the legacy of excellence for which this unit is driven," said Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, Commander, Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region and U.S. Army Military District of Washington, commanding general.
AOG plans, coordinates and executes aviation operations such as technical engineer rescue missions and flight traffic control at Fort Belvoir. The unit also transports Army and Department of Defense senior leadership using fixed wing and rotary aircraft.
A few AOG aircraft such as the UH-60 Blackhawk and UH-72 Lakota were on display during the ceremony.
McGarrity, who said he is proud, humbled and honored to assume command, is now in charge of these machines and the Soldiers who maintain and operate them.
McGarrity was commissioned as an Infantry Officer as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Georgia Southern College, Statesboro, Ga. His assignments include the 603rd Aviation Support Battalion and the Army Staff, Office of the Chief of Staff. McGarrity's awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Assault Badge.
McGarrity plans to "continue to lead from the front, execute Army leadership standards, and use discipline as we execute that mission."
The new commander has three goals to achieve during his tenure. He wants to continue the AOG's operation focus, its modernization with new aircraft and the sustainment of its excellent customer support reputation.
McGarrity credited Sanborn for making his transition to leadership smooth.
Linnington applauded Sanborn for maintaining the unit's preparedness to execute missions at a moments notice. Linnington, who received flights from Sanborn in several missions, said Sanborn's unit provided first class VIP transport globally.
In total, AOG Soldiers flew missions in 73 countries over six continents, while maintaining an operational readiness score at or above 90 percent during Sanborn's command.
"Well above the Army average," Linnington said of the readiness score. "He has ensured AOG continues to be a key partner in the NCR."
Sanborn expressed his gratitude to his Family, staff and many other people who helped him guide AOG.
The outgoing commander's speech included lighthearted moments such as jokes about missions and he even quickly rattled off about 20 names in 15 seconds of senior leaders, garrison commanders and partners who supported AOG.
"If you did not hear your names it's because I read them too quickly or you didn't listen close enough," Sanborn joked. "Either way, I thank you for the support you provided AOG. We would not succeed our mission without you."
Sanborn's speech wasn't all lighthearted however, as he had to gather his emotions before thanking the Soldiers and civilians who maintained and operated AOG equipment.
"They do it, day in and day out. Always ready to respond," Sanborn said. "They are the true heroes."
Sanborn's next assignment is with the U.S. Army Cyber Command
"Scott Sanborn is a leader's leader. A Soldier's leader," Linnington said.