JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS- Va. –
Members of the 1st Fighter Wing welcomed their new commander today, July 9, 2021 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, during a change of command ceremony.
Col. Bill Creeden assumed command of the U.S. Air Force’s premier fighter wing from Col. David Lopez as Maj. Gen. Chad P. Franks, 15th Air Force commander, presided.
Franks took the opportunity to thank Lopez for his leadership and vision while recognizing the wing’s accomplishments during an unprecedented time.
“Col. Lopez leaves us following a two-year command tour filled with many successes, which have played a vital role in protecting America’s interests across the globe,” said Franks. “The warriors of the 1st Fighter Wing have been exceptional because they were well-led.”
Before departing, Lopez congratulated Creeden on his new position and welcomed him into the 1st FW family. He then addressed the men and women of the wing for the last time as their senior leader.
“It’s been a great honor to be your commander. Your mission is to deliver F-22 airpower worldwide on short notice, and together with our mission partners, you’ve succeeded in that mission time and time again,” Lopez said. “Every one of you that has been a part of this wing over the last two years has truly written your own chapter in the history of this wing, which predates the establishment of our independent Air Force.”
Prior to taking the reins, Creeden served as commander of the 53rd Test and Evaluation Group, who executes operational test and evaluation and tactics development efforts for Air Combat Command at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
“[Creeden] comes to us with an impressive résumé filled with experience in the flying community with accomplishments that have prepared him well for this challenging and prestigious position,” Franks said. “It is clear [he] understands the mission of the 1st Fighter Wing and the challenges that come along with it and I have complete faith in his ability to lead this wing of incredible Airmen.”
Prior to taking command, Creeden worked closely with Air Combat Command and 1st FW leadership while serving as an F-22 Raptor Instructor pilot/mission commander for the 27th Fighter Squadron from 2004 to 2006, Chief of Wing Weapons and Tactics for the 1st Operations Support Squadron from 2006 to 2007 and numerous other positions throughout ACC.
“It’s an incredible honor to be in this position today, and to be back at the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley is very special to myself as well as my family,” Creeden said. “To the men and women of the 1st Fighter Wing, it’s with utmost humility and gratitude that I join this team today, America’s first team. We’re going to do this by thriving in the difficult and thriving in the unknown by focusing on the most important and most critical weapon's system we have, and that’s you.”