KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, NM. --
The new 58th Special Operations Wing commander, U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Curry, took command during a change of command ceremony, July 24, 2020, at Kirtland Air Force Base.
Curry’s previous assignment was serving as the vice commander for the 1st SOW, at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
The change of command ceremony proceeded with COVID-19 protocols taken to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Those attending the ceremony were spaced at least six feet apart and face masks were required for all.
Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander, presided over the transfer of command at Hangar 986.
“[Curry] is widely known as one of the very best colonels in the Air Force Special Operations community,” said Wills. “It was a very easy decision to hire [him].”
As the 58th SOW commander, Curry will lead more than 2,200 Airmen teaching 118 courses to more than 14,800 students annually. As part of Air Education and Training Command’s 19th Air Force, the 58th SOW provides undergraduate, graduate, and refresher aircrew training for special operations, personnel recovery, missile site support and distinguished visitor missions, along with instruction in Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) survival and isolation practices.
After accepting command, Curry expressed eagerness to work with such great Airmen during these challenging times.
“I’m incredibly excited to take the guidon today and look forward to working with you all to continue to train warriors, professionalize Airmen and employ air power,” said Curry.
The outgoing commander, Col. Justin Hoffman, led the 58th SOW to new heights since taking command July 10, 2018, and was instrumental in graduating over 33,000 students from numerous courses.
Wills gave high praise to Hoffman for the leadership he has provided the 58th SOW during his command tour.
“I can honestly say in 29 years of service, I’ve never served with a finer officer, a better thinker or a more dedicated public servant [than Col. Hoffman],” said Wills.
In his final address to the Airmen of the 58th SOW, Hoffman expressed his gratitude for having served with them.
“It has been my honor and privilege to serve alongside you the last few years,” said Hoffman. “I wish you all the best of luck in the future as you continue our wing's mission of vital national importance."
Hoffman continues his career as director, Office of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Special Operations Command, in Washington, D.C.