New commander leads 35 FW's Wild Weasels
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 35th Fighter Wing welcomed a new commander during a change-of-command ceremony here June 24 in company of more than 500 military members and civilians.
Col. Timothy Sundvall, former vice commander of the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, succeeded Col. Stephen Williams, whose next assignment will take him to the U.S. Air Force Academy to serve as the commandant of cadets.
"I am honored and humbled by the privilege to stand before you as your commander," said Sundvall to a packed hangar audience. "As we move forward, I will face each decision with three simple priorities in mind, and I ask you to do the same: Mission, Airmen and Families.
"The mission is key - it's why we're here," Sundvall continued. "You make the mission happen, and our Airmen are our most valuable resource. Continuing to make Misawa a place where our Airmen and families thrive is a priority."
Sundvall comes to Misawa with extensive flying experience, having logged more than 2,300 hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon and T-37 Tweet. He'll now command a combat-ready F-16 fighter wing composed of nearly 3,100 personnel and sustain forces and facilities worth over $2 billion. This marks the beginning of Sundvall's second tour here, as Misawa was his first F-16 base from 1995 to 1998.
"Colonel Sundvall brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in planning for and executing air operations in this part of the world," said Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella, commander, U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force, who presided over the ceremony. "We look forward to working with you, alongside our Japanese allies, in the pursuit of peace and stability in this region."
Angelella also took time to recognize Williams for his time as the 35 FW commander, highlighting topics such as successful deployments, enhanced operational readiness, joint and bilateral training, improved quality of life and the strengthening of host nation relations.
"In short, [Colonel Williams] has left the 35th Fighter Wing and Misawa Air Base in outstanding shape," Angelella said.
Williams reflected upon his time here and addressed the men and women of Misawa Air Base a final time during a farewell speech.
"What a great two years," Williams said. "We made some big advances in both mission readiness and quality of life. You all amazed me every day with your dedication and perseverance. The strength of your character, the power of your positive attitude and the quality of your work gives me great faith in our future here at Misawa."
Williams finished by turning to Sundvall and expressing confidence in his successor.
"The wing is ready for your leadership and I know you and Laura will continue to raise the bar and take this great team of professionals to even greater heights," Williams said.