May 12, 2008 (by Justin Oakes) - Luke Thunderbolts, friends and family members of the "Panthers" gathered to support the 63rd Fighter Squadron change of command ceremony on May 12.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Lovelace, 63rd Fighter Squadron commander, relinquished command to Lt. Col. Jack Maixner, 56th Fighter Wing chief of safety.
Colonel Lovelace will serve as the new 56th Fighter Wing director of staff.
He passed on the responsibility of commanding the 63rd FS
, but not before expressing his gratitude and thanks to all the men and women who contributed to his success as a great leader.
"You've inspired me with what you all have accomplished here," said Colonel Lovelace. "You never waivered in your dedication and have sustained me with your ongoing excellence."
Colonel Maixner, a long-time friend of Colonel Lovelace, took center stage and addressed his new command.
"It's an honor and a privilege to become a part of such a great group of Airmen," said Col. Maixner. "We will continue to train the world's best pilots and maintainers, and I look forward to continuing their excellence."