Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

July 13, 2013

New Flying Tiger leader assumes command

VALDOSTA — It’s eight simple words, largely symbolic, but behind them stretches history.

“Sir, I relinquish command.”

“Sir, I assume command.”

And with that, Col. Billy D. Thompson relinquished command of the 23rd Wing at Moody Air Force Base, the Flying Tigers, on Friday morning. Assuming command is Col. Chad P. Franks.

Thompson leaves behind two years of impressive statistics. Since taking command in July 2011, his unit has deployed to 47 locations across the globe. They’ve been involved in 11,000 combat sorties and recorded more than 477 combat saves.

But when you get past the numbers, impressive as they are, you get to the heart, to Thompson’s heart.

Maj. Gen. H.D. Polumbo Jr., said during the change of command ceremony Friday, Thompson has “left an impact” on Moody, but if you ask Thompson, it’s Moody that’s left an impact on him.

“There is no more relevant wing than the Flying Tigers,” said Thompson. “Two years ago, I stood here and asked you to commit to our core value, to come in every day to make it a little better than it was the day before. I simply want to say thank you. It was my honor to be a part of your team. For the rest of my life, I’m going to be thankful I was able to serve with you guys.”

For Franks, this is a return home of sorts, having served at Moody in the past.

“What an extraordinary opportunity to rejoin the 23rd, the Flying Tigers,” said Franks.

Franks comes from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, where he was the chief of staff.

Thompson’s next assignment will be serving as chief of legislative liaisons to the United States Senate.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 142314-Goodwill.jpg Goodwill hosts the Mexican Consulate

    Mexican citizens living in South Georgia have spent this week lining up at the Valdosta Goodwill to meet with the Mexican Consulate to obtain Mexican government issued identification.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723-Tree001.jpg Chamber plants 100th centennial tree

    Founded in September 1912, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers in the state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723 - Operation M#10E3C7.JPG Veterans First

    With Moody Air Force Base expecting to lose 300 to 400 personnel due to government cutbacks, area organizations are working with military personnel about to enter the civilian work force.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lowndes increases millage rate

    For the first time since 1999, the Lowndes County Commission voted Wednesday to increase the millage rate.

    July 24, 2014

  • dui memorial 1.jpg Memorial honors woman killed in DUI case

    More than a week after the man responsible for her death was sentenced to five years in jail, a memorial sign has been placed at the site where Sheila Foster-Lamb was hit and killed by an impaired driver while she was on her way to work.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • City of Valdosta holds two millage hearings today

    The City of Valdosta adopted its 2015 Fiscal Year budget on June 19.

    July 24, 2014

  • Quitman body identified

    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has identified the body of a man found in Quitman Tuesday and have ruled his death a suicide.

    July 24, 2014

  • EOM July 2014.jpg Sgt. Jonathan Yeargin Honored as July 2014 Employee of the Month

    Valdosta Mayor John Gayle and Fire Chief Freddie Broome honored Jonathan Yeargin as the July 2014 Employee of the Month at the July 10 City Council meeting.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clay Griner.jpeg Griner wins Lowndes commission runoff

    A long nine-week runoff election between Clay Griner and G. Norman Bennett came to an end Tuesday night with Griner beating Bennett by 1,060 votes, with approximately 70 provisional ballots left to count.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140722-Runoff_Voting003.jpg State Senate District 8 too close to call

    The race for State Senate District 8 appeared too close to call as of The Times print deadline late Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results