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576th FLTS changes command

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Col. David W. Lair, the 576th Flight Test Squadron commander, accepts the guidon from Brig. Gen. Timothy M. Ray, Headquarters Air Force Global Strike Command director of operations, at the Pacific Coast Club here Friday, June 24, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Lt. Col. David W. Lair, the 576th Flight Test Squadron commander, accepts the guidon from Brig. Gen. Timothy M. Ray, Headquarters Air Force Global Strike Command director of operations, at the Pacific Coast Club here Friday, June 24, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Lt. Col. David W. Lair, the former deputy commander of the 341st Maintenance Group at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., took command of the 576th Flight Test Squadron here during a ceremony at the Pacific Coast Club at 9 a.m. June 24.

Colonel Lair replaces Col David W. Bliesner, who has departed Vandenberg to command the 341st Maintenance Group at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

"This squadron is truly special because it's comprised of operators and maintainers," said Colonel Lair. "I have spent nearly half of my career in ops, and nearly half in maintenance. It's a special squadron with a very unique mission here, and it's very special to me."

Earning his commission through Officer Training School, Colonel Lair's first assignment in the Air Force was at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where he served as a missile combat crew commander, combat crew instructor and Emergency War Order instructor. Following his first assignment, Colonel Lair served as an intercontinental ballistic missile test programs and employment officer at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Colonel Lair then went on to be a flight commander at the 5th Space Warning Squadron at Woomera Air Station, Australia. Other past assignments include serving as a generation flight commander at Malmstrom Air Force Base; the chief of the ICBM Sustainment Branch at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; and the chief maintenance operations officer and commander of the 91st Missile Maintenance Squadron at Minot Air Force Base.

"It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to command such a squadron, and especially for a second time," said Colonel Lair. "This is my second squadron commander role; the first one was a goal of mine and I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd ever get to take command of a squadron for a second time - I really appreciate that."