New commanders take helm at Hill AFB

by Louise R. SHAW

HILL AFB—Two new wing commanders were introduced to the airmen they will lead during formal ceremonies at Hill Air Force Base last week.

Col. Regina “Torch” Sabric is the first woman to lead the 419th Fighter Wing of reservists. She replaces Col. David “Shooter” Smith, who has served in the role since November 2015.

Sabric will also be the first female F-35 pilot in the reserves after completing flight training. She starts the training next month and it is expected to take two months.

Already, she has diverse flying experience and has piloted T-34, AT-38, F-15, F-16, C-146, and other planes.

“That airplane standing to my left is built to be the premier fifth-generation fighter of the Air Force,” she said, referring to the F-35 on exhibit in the hangar.

“It’s built for lethality, survivability and adaptability,” she said. “But we too, as airmen, must hold those same traits. We must be lethal by being ready, survivable by being resilient and adaptable by ensuring we have balance as reserve citizen airmen.”

Maj. General Ronald B. Miller, commander of the 10th Air Force, led the change-of-command ceremony on Saturday, April 14. During his remarks, he noted that April 14 marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Air Force Reserve and honored the organization for its “global vigilance, global reach and global power.”

He thanked the airmen in attendance for “answering our nation’s call” and “being an important part of our nation’s history.”

“We couldn’t be more proud of the work you do,” he said.

In his remarks, Col. Smith expressed thanks to all who have supported the efforts of “Team Hill.”

He was especially gracious to local leaders in attendance.

“I my 26 years in the service, I have never seen such a great commitment to these airmen,” he said. “I have to say that nobody can ever understand the amazing support we get in Utah from our civic leaders.”

Col. Jon Eberlan was named commander of the 75th Air Base Wing during a similar ceremony on Friday, April 13.

Eberlan replaces Col. Jennifer Hammerstedt, who has served in the role since June 2016 and will be taking on an assignment at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

The 75th wing oversees one million acres that includes more than 1,300 facilities and 25,000 employees, as well as the 1,490-square-mile Utah Test and Training Range.

Eberlan served nearly two years as the 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group commander in the Ogden Air Logistics Complex prior to his current assignment.

Sabric most recently served as commander of the 919th Special Operations Group at Duke Field in Florida. She has a degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State University.


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