WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published November 13, 2009, 09:38 PM

Grand Forks Air Force Base Gets New Commander

The Grand Forks Air Force Base has a new commander. During a change of command ceremony Colonel John Michel passed off command to Donald Shaffer.

By: Steve Bodakowski, WDAZ

At exactly 3:19 today the 319th Air Refueling landed a new commander in Colonel Donald Shaffer.

Donald Shaffer: "Its a dream for me a lifetime accomplishment and from everything I've heard and what I've seen in the past couple of days I couldn't ask for a better assignment or community."

For the Past 16 months its been Colonel John Michel who's guided the "Warriors of the North" He'll now head to Scott Air Force base in Illinois.

Shaffer comes to Grand Forks as the vice-commander of the 437th air lift wing in Charleston South Carolina. There too they were going through a transition, and joining up with the navy weapons station there.

Daonald Shaffer: "They're not losing any airplanes or personnel, they're just doing an administrative overhaul of how the two installations are run."

Shaffer says for now he will focus on building up personnel and on the new predator mission.

Donald Shaffer: "Mission wise its very different for me I've never flown a tanker before i've never been a tanker person never had insight or worked with a UAS.So its going to be a bit of a learning curve for me."

Shaffer says his main concern initially will be taking care of the airmen on base and learning the ropes of a new base.