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308th welcomes new commander

308th RQS welcomes new commander

Lt. Col. Timothy Hanks, right, 308th Rescue Squadron commander, takes the unit guidon from Col. Michael LoForti, 920th Operations Group commander, during the squadron change of command ceremony Nov. 4, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 308th Rescue Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, welcomed their new commander during a change of command ceremony Nov. 4, at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.

Lt. Col. Timothy Hanks comes to the 920th Rescue Wing from Special Operations Command Central, MacDill AFB, Florida, where he worked as the deputy director of emerging threat.

“Lt. Col. Hanks has strong credentials and will bring the experience required to serve as the 308th RQS commander,” said Col. Michael LoForti, 920th Operations Group commander. “He has served as both a pararescue instructor and combat rescue officer for over 24 years in the Air Force.

“In addition, he is a proven leader serving as a director of operations at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and Moody AFB, Georgia; as well as serving as a commander at Eielson AFB, Alaska, and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. His breadth and depth of experience and leadership are a perfect fit for the 308th RQS, 920th RQW, and Air Force Reserve Command.”

Hanks said he is excited to command such a prestigious unit, which he first crossed paths with in 1994, when he was assigned to the 41st RQS, an active duty Guardian Angel unit stationed at Patrick AFB at the time.

“Right across the street was the 308th, which allowed me the opportunity to work closely with experienced warriors,” he said. “I witnessed first-hand the professionalism, dedication, and love for the mission that still holds true today. Throughout my career, the 308th has always been identified as the beacon of excellence in maritime operation and a depth of experienced operators. I am honored to serve with these warriors.”

Hanks said his primary focus as the commander will be to ensure the Reserve Citizen Airmen have the right tools to accomplish their mission.

“Zeroing in on getting them the right training, required equipment, and state-of-the-art facilities in order to perform the mission is my focus,” he said. “Understanding that we all face significant challenges in this fiscal environment, I firmly believe that our 920th leaders are working towards developing long term solutions in ensuring our Airmen are ready for the rescue mission – anytime, anywhere.”

In concert with this focus, Hanks said he will also work to find avenues of preserving the force and families.

“This will include working closely with our key spouse program and striving to find ways for our families to voice their concerns so they feel part of the rescue mission,” he said.