By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff WriterJuly 11, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 11, 2014) -- The U.S. Army Aviation Center Logistics Command welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony July 1 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.
Maj. Gen. James M. Richardson, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command commanding general, hosted the ceremony that welcomed Col. Kenneth Kliethermes to Fort Rucker and the Wiregrass Area.
"It's a great day to be in the United States Army here at Fort Rucker and today is a big day," Richardson said. "I'm honored today to farewell an outstanding commander and to welcome another equally talented one."
Kliethermes is a proven leader, holding numerous leadership positions, including platoon leader; detachment commander; troop commander; executive officer; operations officer; air and ground planner for the Standing Joint Force Headquarters, Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii; battalion commander; and a professor for the strategy and policy department at the Naval War College, R.I.
"I would like to welcome Ken and his Family to Fort Rucker. Ken, you are the right person for the job," said Richardson. "Every position you have held has given you the perfect skill set and experience for the challenging mission you are accepting today. There is no doubt that this will be your greatest challenge to date."
Richardson said that every change of command is bittersweet, but that he knows that Kliethermes can take ACLC to the next level.
"Good luck," he continued. "I look forward to serving with you to support the Fort Rucker team."
Richardson finished by saying that ACLC Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors make 26 flight classes and the training of more than 900 Aviators possible each year.
"The daunting task includes the maintenance of (more than) 500 aircraft launches every single day," he said addressing the new commander. "So, go forth and just have fun."
Kliethermes assumed command from Col. Michael Aid, who welcomed his replacement to the team-of-teams.
"You are joining a great team. I know you will build on the achievements that have been built the last couple of years. You will have challenges, but you will turn them into opportunities. My only advice is to grow, learn and to have fun," said Aid.
Kliethermes thanked Aid for his kind words and wished him well in retirement.
"I am truly honored to stand in front of you today as I assume command of ACLC," he said. "I am looking forward to addressing the new challenges that will begin today."
He continued by saying he is looking forward to building a strong relationship between the Fort Rucker and Huntsville communities as they work together to make the Army stronger.
"I was very excited when I was notified that I would be a commander here. It will be a challenge, and I love and enjoy challenges," he said. "This command means as much to me as it does my Family. They are excited to see me possibly fly again."
The new commander was last here in 2009 and said he is excited to be back as permanent party.
"I love the people and the community here," he said before being welcomed by those in attendance. "I am glad to be back around the sound of helicopters."