403rd Wing Air Force Reserve gets new commander - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

403rd Wing Air Force Reserve gets new commander

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It was one ceremony with two purposes. On Sunday the 403rd Wing Air Force Reserve welcomed a new commander at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi. The day also marked the retirement of outgoing commander Brigadier General Richard Moss.

Brigadier General Moss reflected on his nearly four decades of service to our country and what he sees in the future of the Air Force Reserve. After 38 years, Brigadier General Moss is saying goodbye to military life.

"I feel like I'm losing a part of myself, but I'll always be a part of the Air Force," Moss said. "I'll always try to take care of the Air Force because I love it. It's going to be hard. I'll have to start figuring out what to where every morning. "

A new commander took the helm of the 403rd Wing, the state's only flying Air Force Reserve unit. Colonel James Muscatell told the audience he is a servant leader. He says his role is to give reservists the tools they need to do their jobs, remove any roadblocks and trust them to accomplish their missions.

"When we raise our hands to be sworn in, we made a commitment to this nation but that doesn't mean we can't have fun doing it and do it smart," said Colonel Muscatell. "It's not how hard we work. It's how smart we work"

The 403rd Wing's mission includes carrying out combat airlifts and flying the hurricane hunters into the eyes of storms.

unit. In his four years as commander, Brigadier General Moss says he enjoyed a great relationship with the active duty officials of Keesler Air Force Base.

"We just really work well together," Moss said. "It's been that way since I've been here. I'm sure it will continue in the future because they understand that we have needs, and they are the host. And they understand that they have needs."

To meet the needs of the reserve, Moss says this year plans are to bring in three to four more planes and 12 active duty maintenance workers who will work under the reserve.

"It's a new concept," said Moss. "We've got the world's greatest airplane here with the C130J, and we can get much better utilization out of the air frame and help support the nation."

As the Brigadier General adjusts to civilian life, he says the Air Force reserve is also in transition.

Moss said, "The role of the Reserve keeps changing. We went from being a strategic reserve where only if your needed in time of war (to) an operation reserve, meaning every day we are supporting the active duty to the point where most flying missions, about 25 percent is done by the Air Force Reserve or the Air National Guard."

Members of the 403rd Wing got their first chance to get acquainted with their new boss. Colonel James Muscatell told the audience he is a servant leader. He says his role is to give reservists the tools they need to do their jobs, remove any roadblocks and trust them to accomplish their missions.

Colonel Muscatell said, "When we raise our hands to be sworn in, we made a commitment to this nation, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun doing it and do it smart. It's not how hard we work. It's how smart we work

The 403rd Wing's mission includes carrying out combat airlifts and flying the hurricane hunters into the eyes of storms.

Brigadier General Richard Moss says he was impressed by the resiliency this area showed after Hurricane Katrina. He and his wife plan to continue to make their home here in South Mississippi.

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