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Medical Group and Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron both change commanders

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Members of the 133rd Airlift Wing and other distinguished guests gathered at the Air Guard base in St. Paul today as a change of command took place for both the 109th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and 133rd Medical Group.

Lt. Col. Penny Hodges-Goetz, outgoing commander of the 109th AES, earned the honor of becoming the first nurse to take command of the 133rd MDG. She replaces Col. (Dr.) David Hamlar as he takes the position as State Air Surgeon for Joint Force Headquarters, Minnesota.

"There is a certain amount of energy that's associated with the Aeromeds and somehow Penny was able to harness that energy and redirect it and manage that into successful missions," said Col. Greg Haase the commander of the 133rd AW. "That's really a tremendous accomplishment."

As Hodges-Goetz assumes her new leadership role, she relinquishes her duties as commander of the 109th AES to Lt. Col. Matthew Peterson, who was the Director of Operations for the 109th AES.

"Moving forward people ask me what I am going to change," stated Peterson. "I responded with there isn't a lot to change, Penny has done the heavy lifting, I just want to refine where we are operationally and focus on opportunities with our younger enlisted he added."

"I thank all of you for the great leadership that you have exhibited," said Haase. "We look forward to what has been and what will be."

Hamlar, Hodges-Goetz and Peterson are all traditional members of the Minnesota Air National Guard and have leading roles in the civilian medical community in the Twin Cities area.