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Wing welcomes new command chief

Chief Master Sgt. Paul Kessler (center), 133rd Communications Flight, becomes the Command Chief of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard, during a change of authority ceremony at the Air Guard base in St. Paul, Minn. on Oct. 15, 2011. He was selected by Col. Greg Haase (left), 133rd AW commander, to replace Chief Master Sgt. David Speich, 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron, who has served as the top enlisted member of the Wing for the past three and a half years. Minnesota Air National Guard Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Greg Close (right) assists by helping the commander reveal the star in the chevron, symbolizing the authority the new command chief holds as he serves the Airmen of the 133rd AW. USAF official photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Chief Master Sgt. Paul Kessler (center), 133rd Communications Flight, becomes the Command Chief of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard, during a change of authority ceremony at the Air Guard base in St. Paul, Minn. on Oct. 15, 2011. He was selected by Col. Greg Haase (left), 133rd AW commander, to replace Chief Master Sgt. David Speich, 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron, who has served as the top enlisted member of the Wing for the past three and a half years. Minnesota Air National Guard Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Greg Close (right) assists by helping the commander reveal the star in the chevron, symbolizing the authority the new command chief holds as he serves the Airmen of the 133rd AW. USAF official photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Col. Greg Haase (left), 133rd Airlift Wing commander applauds the work of outgoing Wing command chief, Chief Master Sgt. David Speich (2nd from right), 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron, and introduces his new top enlisted member for the 133rd AW, Chief Master Sgt. Paul Kessler (far right), 133rd Communications Flight, during a change of authority ceremony at the Air Guard base in St. Paul, Minn. on Oct. 15, 2011. Minnesota Air National Guard command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Greg Close (2nd from left) assists. USAF official photo by Airman 1st Class Kari Giles

Col. Greg Haase (left), 133rd Airlift Wing commander applauds the work of outgoing Wing command chief, Chief Master Sgt. David Speich (2nd from right), 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron, and introduces his new top enlisted member for the 133rd AW, Chief Master Sgt. Paul Kessler (far right), 133rd Communications Flight, during a change of authority ceremony at the Air Guard base in St. Paul, Minn. on Oct. 15, 2011. Minnesota Air National Guard command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Greg Close (2nd from left) assists. USAF official photo by Airman 1st Class Kari Giles

The 2011 Family Day at the 133rd Airlift Wing August 20th, 20111 included events for children and family members included a fish pond, archery, climbing wall, hay ride, bean bag toss, hammer bell, bouncing room, an eagle demonstration from the National Eagle Center, home run derby, egg toss, fire safety house, and basket ball toss. Static displays and demonstrations on the flight line included a F-16 Fighting Falcon and one of the Wing?s C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft. Food was provided free of charge and served by Fat Lorenzos of Minneapolis to the Airmen and their families. Air Force by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson (released)

Chief Master Sgt. Paul Kessler, 133rd Communications Flight, gets a hit in the home run derby at the 133rd Airlift Wing Family Day August 20, 2011. There was a fish pond, archery, climbing wall, hay ride, bean bag toss, hammer bell, bouncing room, an eagle demonstration from the National Eagle Center, egg toss, fire safety house, and basket ball toss. Static displays and demonstrations on the flight line included a F-16 Fighting Falcon and one of the Wing's C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft. Food was provided free of charge and served by Fat Lorenzo's of Minneapolis to the Airmen and their families. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson

Cpt. David Stickney of the 133rd AW briefs CMSgt Paul Kessler of the 133rd AW, Col. Greg Haase, 133rd AW Wing Commander and Col. Terry Ward, 375th AMW Ops Group Commander,  on the relocation plans after a building  evacuation during an operational readiness inspection at Volk Field, WI on 03/24/2010.

Capt. David Stickney of the 133rd Airlift Wing briefs Chief Master Sgt. Paul Kessler of the 133rd Communications Flight, Col. Greg Haase, 133rd AW Wing Commander and Col. Terry Ward, 375th AMW Ops Group Commander, on the relocation plans after a building evacuation during an operational readiness inspection at Volk Field, Wisc. on March 24, 2010. USAF official photo by Tech. Sgt. John Wiggins

St. Paul -- The 133rd Airlift Wing changed command chiefs on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011 in the south hanger of the Air National Guard base here. Chief Master Sgt. David Speich, 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron, relinquished his authority after three and half years to Chief Master Sgt. Paul Kessler, 133rd Communications Flight. The change of authority of the highest enlisted position in the organization of over 1200 Airmen was attended by members from all over the Wing and many special guests.

The ceremony was a combination of remembering the great job Speich had done during his time here, and looking forward to what Kessler will bring to the position. Col. Greg Haase, 133rd AW commander, began by talking about how important command chiefs are to their Wings. They offer so much to a Wing like being an advisor, mentor, and leader, he said.
Haase compared Speich's passion for fishing to his style of work. When the unit was having trouble making a decision for the Wing, "Chief Speich would either bait us into making the right decision, feed us enough line until we saw the solution, or sometimes he would outright set the hook", Haase said. Speich never put himself above anything and always understood this was bigger than him, he added.

Speich then received the Minnesota Medal of Merit from Haase for his service over the past three and half years. The Command Chief of the Minnesota Air National Guard, Chief Master Sgt. Greg Close, also presented a plaque of the command chief chevron for his service to the state.

During his first day as command chief Haase told Speich never to embarrass the Wing. Speich laughed as he was reminded of what pressure came with that statement. He then turned to Haase and said, "It's been an honor and privilege to be part of your professional leadership team." He then talked about how important each individual Airman is to the Wing and the work they do individually is critical to the entire mission.

Haase returned to the podium then turned to Kessler and began by saying that he was excited about the wealth of experience and professionalism he would bring to this position. He went on to say that the Adjutant General has six priorities, one of which is cyber operations. Haase said that he couldn't think of a better person to help with that than Kessler due to his ten years experience as chief of the communications flight. Haase then read a lengthy list of statements that Kessler will have to follow, answering "I will," to all of them. Kessler later joked about it being a lot of, "I wills."

Kessler finally spoke about the honor of taking over the position from Speich. He thanked several people from senior leadership, fellow Airmen, and his family. He took time to thank his uncle Gerry Heuring, a former captain in the Air Force and an F-4 aviator in the Vietnam War, who flew several combat missions saving many lives and seldom was thanked, Kessler said.

"Jerry on behalf of those in front of you today, thank you," Kessler said as he saluted the former officer.

There seems to be little doubt of the great job Speich did during his time here, and just as little doubt of the job Kessler will do as the new command chief. He said he will work tirelessly making sureĀ Airmen will take care of each other, so thatĀ all are ready, willing and able to face the tasks ahead of us. The ceremony ended as the wing recited the Airman's Creed with pride.