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Whitlock returns to 910th MXS as commander

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Grossi
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Maj. Russell R. Whitlock assumed command of the 910th Maintenance Squadron, Oct. 2, 2021, in hangar 295 at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio. Lt. Col. Joseph C. Winchester, the commander of the 910th Maintenance Group, officiated the ceremony and transferred the guidon, a customized flag representing the squadron, to Whitlock, symbolizing the official change of command.

During the ceremony, Winchester formally recognized both the outgoing 910th MXS commander, Lt. Col. George F. Lenahan, and Whitlock, by dubbing them, the two most analytical minds on the base. Winchester also said he considered himself fortunate to have them both.

“Lt. Col. Lenahan brought a different and much-needed perspective to maintenance,” said Winchester. “He’s helped connect dots and provided the ‘Why’ on some of the challenges we had in aircraft maintenance with regards to troubleshooting some of the issues we’ve had with pilot-reported discrepancies. This added capability has helped create efficiencies within all of maintenance. I thank you for your professionalism and I welcome you as my deputy of maintenance as well.”

Under the leadership of Lenahan, the 910th MXS was selected to build the 22nd Air Force’s first Battle Born trophy using additive manufacturing. The squadron then contributed significantly to the 910th Airlift Wing competing against 13 other units and winning the inaugural trophy.

Winchester also spoke about the leadership Whitlock brings to the squadron.

“Across the Air Force, finding qualified maintenance commanders is a challenge,” said Winchester. “After a few discussions, I realized I only had to look down the street just a few buildings. With what Russ brings to the table, being prior enlisted in the maintenance avionics career field, then becoming a maintenance aircraft officer through the deserving Airman program, deploying, and after providing outstanding leadership to the 910th Communication Squadron…Maj. Whitlock naturally became my number one choice for the command. I am confident that he will have no issues integrating back where he belongs in maintenance.”

In 2001, Whitlock entered the Air Force Reserve as an enlisted C-130 communication and navigation systems specialist after serving for nine years of active duty before commissioning at the Academy of Military Science located on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee. He then deployed as a maintenance officer to Germany and Afghanistan in support of air mobility requirements. After cross-training into cyberspace operations, Whitlock was tasked with being the leader of the 910th CS “Cyber Beasts” prior to receiving his current designation.

After a string of “thank-yous” to his family and mentors, Whitlock said he would be remised if he did not thank the 910th CS for being his proving ground.

“It’s your achievements that convinced senior leadership I deserve to continue serving as a commander,” said Whitlock.

Whitlock then turned his attention from past achievements to the challenges on the horizon.

“As we forge ahead together we will undoubtedly face challenges that will require me to ask more of you to ensure the success of the mission, but I will never expect more of you than I do of myself,” stated Whitlock. “I promise to uphold our core values of integrity, service and excellence. I will do all of which I am capable to ensure you are able to complete every task. I trust you will do your part as I aim to earn your trust in me as I do mine”.

The 910th MXS is responsible for managing, maintaining and supervising aircraft structure, engines, electrical and test equipment. The 910th MXS supports a program that logs approximately 2,800 flying hours annually while maintaining deployment-ready tactical airlift, support equipment and aerial spray capability for contingencies and exercises throughout the world.