June 22, 2005 (by Juliana Gittler) - Air Force leaders announced the next commander for Misawa Air Base and its 35th Fighter Wing. Brig. Gen. (select) Salvatore "SAM" Angelella is to take over the reins from Brig. Gen. William "Kanga" Rew later this year.
Rew is to head to Nevada to command the 57th Wing, Air Combat Command at Nellis Air Force Base, according to a Defense Department news release issued Friday.
The wing includes 150 aircraft that support the Weapons School, the Red Flag air combat exercises and the Thunderbirds demonstration team.
Angelella currently is in Casteau, Belgium
, serving as executive officer to the commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The two F-16 fighter pilots and now generals have crossed paths before. Angelella took over command of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., from Rew in 2003.
While Rew commanded the 5th Operations Group at Misawa between 1998 and 2000, Angelella commanded one of the group's squadrons, the 13th Fighter Squadron.
In addition to leading the wing, Angelella soon will be responsible for base support and privileges as installation commander for 10,000 servicemembers, civilians and dependents, including those assigned to Naval Air Facility Misawa and the joint Misawa Security Operations Center, as well as other tenant commands.
During Rew's 14 months in charge of Misawa, he has passed regulations to crack down on drunken driving on and off base; developed a robust combined training program with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force; and maintained a close relationship with off-base leaders.
As part of his safety improvement goal, Rew increased penalties for drunken driving and enacted a regulation that requires drivers 25 years of age and younger to get special safety training before they receive a driver's license.
Under Rew's leadership, the base earned its second Installation Excellence Award from the Pacific Air Forces and is in the running for the Air Force-wide award.
Rew is a command pilot with more than 38-hundred hours including 100 combat hours in the cockpit of F-16 Falcons. From 1981 to 1983, Rew was an F-16 pilot with the 430th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Nellis.
No date has been set for a change of command. However, Air Force officials anticipate it won't occur for several weeks.
This week the latest vice wing commander also is unpacking his bags. Col. Michael Bartley will take over that position from Col. Donald Weckhorst, according to base officials.
The 57th Wing's current commander, Brigadier General Greg Ihde, has been named commander of the Pacific Air Operations Center at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.