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Fehrle takes command of 188th Medical Group

Col. Bret V. Fehrle, Commander 188th Medical Group, addresses audience members after assuming command as Col. Robert I. Kinney, Commander 188th Wing and Col. Misty M. Zelk, former commander 188th Medical Group look on at Fort Smith, AR., Dec. 02, 2017. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Bret V. Fehrle, Commander 188th Medical Group, addresses audience members after assuming command as Col. Robert I. Kinney, Commander 188th Wing and Col. Misty M. Zelk, former commander 188th Medical Group look on at Fort Smith, AR., Dec. 02, 2017. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Misty M. Zelk relinquishes command of the 188th Medical Group to Col. Robert I. Kinney, Commander 188th Wing, during a change of command ceremony at Fort Smith, AR., Dec. 02, 2017. The passing of the guidon is a military custom signifying the transfer of command. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Misty M. Zelk relinquishes command of the 188th Medical Group to Col. Robert I. Kinney, Commander 188th Wing, during a change of command ceremony at Fort Smith, AR., Dec. 02, 2017. The passing of the guidon is a military custom signifying the transfer of command. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Bret V. Fehrle assumes command of the 188th Medical Group from Col. Robert I. Kinney, Commander 188th Wing, during a change of command ceremony at Fort Smith, AR., Dec. 02, 2017. The passing of the guidon is a military custom signifying the transfer of command. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Bret V. Fehrle assumes command of the 188th Medical Group from Col. Robert I. Kinney, Commander 188th Wing, during a change of command ceremony at Fort Smith, AR., Dec. 02, 2017. The passing of the guidon is a military custom signifying the transfer of command. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Robert I. Kinney, Commander 188th Wing, presents Col. Misty M. Zelk, former commander of the 188th Medical Group with the Meritorious Service Medal at Fort Smith, AR., Dec. 02, 2017. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Col. Robert I. Kinney, Commander 188th Wing, presents Col. Misty M. Zelk, former commander of the 188th Medical Group with the Meritorious Service Medal at Fort Smith, AR., Dec. 02, 2017. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Condit)

Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Ark. -- EBBING AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ark. – Col. Bret Fehrle took command of the 188th Medical Group from Col. Misty Zelk during a formal change of command ceremony here Dec. 2, 2017.

Fehrle takes over for Zelk who is set to retire form the Arkansas Air National Guard on Dec. 2nd 2017.

“I’ve enjoyed my time as the 188th Med Group commander and I appreciate having had the privilege to serve with all of you,” said Zelk.
Fehrle takes command of the medical group which is tasked with the health and wellbeing of all 188th Wing members. Under the leadership of Zelk the 188th Med Group made great strides, vastly improving medical readiness of wing members, Fehrle looks to continue that trend and make the 188th Med Group one of the best in the Air National Guard.

“We’re excited because you have a reputation for excellence and I know you’ll continue to do that for the 188th” Kenney said. “I expect a lot out of myself as such I expect a lot out of you.”

Prior to assuming command of the 188th Med Group, Fehrle was the commander of the 117th Medical Group, which was responsible for the ensuring the members of the 117th Refueling Wing remaining healthy and fit to fight.

Col. Robert Kinney, commander of the 188th Wing, opened the change of command ceremony by expressing what command means to the military and the importance the 188th Med Group plays in keeping the wing mission ready.

“It’s imperative that we all do our part, to include you and me, to ensure that our airman are ready for the fight and I know you’ll do that” said Kinney. “Now let’s get to it!”

Fehrle expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to lead the 188th Med Group and looks forward to leading them into the future. 

“Your dedicated work keeps this command in a prominent roll in our national security, keeping the men and women of the 188th Wing capable and deployable is a vital and important business.”