Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska (KINY) There is a new commander of the Alaska Air National Guard.
Lt. Col. Tracie L. Hough assumed command of the 168th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, Wednesday during a ceremony held inside the unit’s maintenance hangar. Col David McPhetres, commander of the 168th Maintenance Group was the presiding officer.
Hough assumes command of the squadron after serving in several different positions within the Air National Guard, to include Air Forces Northern/1st Air Force headquarters at Tyndall AFB, Fla.
Col. McPhetres started the ceremony introducing Hough and saying, “Lt. Col. Hough is absolutely the right person to take command of the aircraft maintenance squadron.”
“Col. Hough has served in a number of key positions that recognize how critical the tanker is to power projection, and although she is new to the maintenance realm, her experience is going to help tie the people to the mission as the squadron builds its next generation of maintenance professionals,” said McPhetres.
The aircraft maintenance squadron is home to the Airmen responsible for the service, inspection, troubleshooting, repairing and documentation all maintenance activities for the nine KC-135R Stratotankers assigned to the 168th Wing.
“First I want to thank Col. McPhetres for giving me this opportunity,” said Hough. “When I saw his email, asking me if I would be interested in commanding this squadron, it took me about three seconds to respond YES,” said Hough.
The aircraft maintenance support squadron is part of the maintenance group, which is responsible for providing sortie production, fleet management and quality assurance in support of NORAD air sovereignty alert and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff short notice contingency taskings in the North Pacific Theater, as well as supporting peacetime worldwide refueling/airlift taskings and Pacific Air Forces, NORAD and Air Mobility Command contingency and war plans.
Hough’s parents, John and Diane Pribanic flew to Fairbanks from their home in Naples, Fla., to attend the ceremony. This was John’s second trip in as many months since he drove the more than 4,500 miles with Lt. Col. Hough in August, helping her move across the country.
“I have the utmost respect and appreciation for the work you [maintenance] do every day to support the mission of the Air National Guard,” said Hough. I am going to do everything within my power to help you complete this mission.”