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Pritchard assumes command of 123rd Mission Support Group

Lt. Col. Patrick Pritchard (center) assumes command of the 123rd Mission Support Group as he accepts the unit’s guidon from Col. David Mounkes (left), commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing, during a change-of-command ceremony held at the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., Jan. 7, 2017. Pritchard replaces Col. Kathryn Pfeifer (right), who retired after more than 28 years of service. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

Lt. Col. Patrick Pritchard (center) assumes command of the 123rd Mission Support Group as he accepts the unit’s guidon from Col. David Mounkes (left), commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing, during a change-of-command ceremony held at the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., Jan. 7, 2017. Pritchard replaces Col. Kathryn Pfeifer (right), who retired after more than 28 years of service. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Horton)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- With peers and colleagues looking on, Lt. Col. Patrick Pritchard took charge of the 123rd Mission Support Group during a change-of-command ceremony here Jan. 7.

Presiding over the event was Col. David Mounkes, commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing, who formally passed the group guidon to Pritchard.

“Whether I have worked with Pat while he was in intelligence, finance or serving as the deputy commander of the Mission Support Group, he has always maintained a very high standard of work,” Mounkes said. “He’s thoughtful, reasonable and supportive, and he communicates well.

“He has an incredible ability to break down complex topics to simple basic statements,” the colonel continued. “You are getting a great commander, and I am looking forward to getting a great addition to the wing’s senior leadership team.”

Pritchard enlisted in the Kentucky Air National Guard in 1986, serving as an environmental systems mechanic on RF-4C Phantom II aircraft before cross-training as a C-130 Hercules crew chief.

Following graduation from McKendree University, he received his commission in September 1998 and was assigned to the 123rd Operations Support Flight. Prior to accepting his new post, Pritchard served as Financial Management commander, comptroller, finance analyst and chief intelligence officer.

He has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I want to thank my leadership for this opportunity,” said Pritchard, who most recently served as the Mission Support Group’s deputy commander. “Thank you for your trust and confidence in me to run the Mission Support Group. My vision and pledge is to continue down the path of excellence, and if possible to improve on an already outstanding organization.

“My focus will be on direction, establishing goals and priorities,” Pritchard said as he spoke to MSG members in attendance. “Which means time-management and quality of work, strategic long-range planning, and providing what you need to actually do the mission.”

The Mission Support Group is the wing’s largest and most diverse group, with more than 400 Airmen who provide base fire protection, security and force protection, civil engineering, disaster preparedness, communications, personnel, dining, lodging and information technology services.