FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The Soldiers of "Above and Beyond" 2nd Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment welcomed their new commander during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum July 10.

Lt. Col. Bruce LeMoine assumed command from outgoing commander Lt. Col. Stephen Long.
LeMoine's previous assignment was as a government flight representative for Defense Contract Management Agency.

The unit falls under the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group and Air Traffic Services Command. It provides airfield management and air traffic services at designated theater airfields in support of full spectrum operations.

Col. James Macklin, 164th TAOG and ATSCOM commander, said the unit is "blessed to have (LeMoine)" as its new commander.

"(He) has just the right skill set needed for this demanding position," Macklin said. "A solid foundation has been set, and now it's time to hit the ground running and take the battalion to even higher levels. I have no doubt the (unit) will continue to excel."

LeMoine said his time with the unit so far has already made him proud to be its commander. He thanked his Family for their support and acknowledged those who helped him to achieve his goals.

"I wouldn't be here today if someone hadn't taken me under (his) wing," he said. "It's an honor to be a member of this Family."

LeMoine began his military career in February 1979 by enlisting in the U.S. Army as an AH-1S Cobra repairman. He served six years before he joined the ROTC at Utah State University, Logan, Utah. He commissioned as an Aviation officer in December 1985.

Long's exit signals his retirement from the U.S. Army. Macklin thanked him for his years of service and wished him well in the coming years.

"You've had a long and very successful career, and have touched the lives of so many," Macklin said. "Your integrity and leadership have helped start a legacy that will live on through these Soldiers for generations to come. You can leave here proud. Have a good time on the farm on the tractor."

Long enlisted in the Mississippi Army National Guard in April 1979. He joined the ROTC at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Miss., and commissioned as an Aviation officer in May 1982.

"I set the bar as high as I could," Long said to LeMoine. "Now it's your turn to move it up a notch. Your mission is to take them and bring them back. Take care of my Soldiers."