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137 SOW officially recognizes MAJCOM-change with ceremony

Air Force Special Operations Command Commander Lt. Gen. Marshall Brad Webb speaks to the audience at the re-designation ceremony of the 137th Special Operations Wing at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma City, Dec. 3, 2016. The ceremony marks the official transition of the Wing from its former air refueling mission to its current special operations mission, making the Wing the second Air National Guard wing to be a part of AFSOC and the only U.S. Air Force entity to fly and maintain the MC-12W. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caroline Essex)

Air Force Special Operations Command Commander Lt. Gen. Marshall Brad Webb speaks to the audience at the re-designation ceremony of the 137th Special Operations Wing at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma City, Dec. 3, 2016. The ceremony marks the official transition of the Wing from its former air refueling mission to its current special operations mission, making the Wing the second Air National Guard wing to be a part of AFSOC and the only U.S. Air Force entity to fly and maintain the MC-12W. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caroline Essex)

Retired Maj. Gen. Stanley Newman, former 137th Special Operations Wing commander, and retired Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon, Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans of Affairs, interact in the audience of the re-designation ceremony at the 137th Special Operations Wing at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma City, Dec. 3, 2016. The ceremony marks the official transition of the Wing from its former air refueling mission to its current special operations mission, making the Wing the second Air National Guard wing to be a part of AFSOC and the only U.S. Air Force entity to fly and maintain the MC-12W. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caroline Essex)

Retired Maj. Gen. Stanley Newman, former 137th Special Operations Wing commander, and retired Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon, Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs, react to comments by 137th Special Operations Wing Commander Col. Devin R. Wooden during the 137 SOW's re-designation ceremony at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma City, Dec. 3, 2016. The ceremony marks the official transition of the Wing from its former air refueling mission to its current special operations mission, making the Wing the second Air National Guard wing to be a part of AFSOC and the only U.S. Air Force entity to fly and maintain the MC-12W. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caroline Essex)

137th Special Operations Wing squadron and group commanders and senior ranking enlisted members stand in formation during a re-designation ceremony at the 137th Special Operations Wing at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma City, Dec. 3, 2016. The ceremony marks the official transition of the Wing from its former air refueling mission to its current special operations mission, making the Wing the second Air National Guard wing to be a part of AFSOC and the only U.S. Air Force entity to fly and maintain the MC-12W. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caroline Essex)

137th Special Operations Wing squadron and group commanders and senior ranking enlisted members stand in formation during a re-designation ceremony at the 137th Special Operations Wing at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma City, Dec. 3, 2016. The ceremony marks the official transition of the Wing from its former air refueling mission to its current special operations mission, making the Wing the second Air National Guard wing to be a part of AFSOC and the only U.S. Air Force entity to fly and maintain the MC-12W. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caroline Essex)

WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla. -- The 137th Special Operations Wing hosted an official re-designation ceremony to commemorate the Wing's change to the Air Force Special Operations Command at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma, Dec. 3, 2016.

The ceremony comes after the implementation of the National Defense Authorization Act, in which the Wing became only the second Air National Guard wing to be a part of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) in history and currently the only U.S. Air Force entity flying and maintaining the MC-12W.

"It is exciting to be one of the first to welcome the patriotic men and women of Oklahoma and of the 137  SOW to AFSOC!" said AFSOC Commander Lt. Gen Marshall "Brad" Webb. "Our command is a world-class organization, rich in history and heritage, as is yours. We are proud and fortunate to have you become an intricate part of that history and heritage as we become a part of yours ... woven together we become stronger." 

The MC-12 is a medium- to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft whose primary mission is to provide Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance support to joint ground forces overseas.

During the ceremony, the 137 SOW and its subordinate groups received their new pennants with the special operations designation and deactivated a former group and flight.

"We remember fondly our collective successes as an Air Refueling Wing while we say farewell to the 137th Maintenance Group who for decades kept us flying world-wide with pride and to the 137th Airlift Control Flight who ensured our global reach included all four corners of the world," said Col. Devin R. Wooden, 137 SOW commander. "But, this transition to AFSOC and the manned Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance mission brings tremendous new capacity and capability to the men and women of the 137th, the State of Oklahoma, and the Air National Guard."

The 137 SOW received its first MC-12 aircraft in July 2015, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 1, 2015 and has been carrying out base-wide structural and procedural changes.

Wooden said he was proud of the efforts of the 137th Airmen and looks forward to their growing future.

"Throughout our history the Airmen of the 137th have made a habit of being ready when called," Wooden said. "Whether at home or overseas, you are ready to lead, ready to sacrifice, and ready to develop vital skills to remain relevant - all while looking after each other and the health of your units. Good luck to each and every one of you in this new endeavor, and Godspeed to the 137th Special Operations Wing."