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Flag passed to Halter for 139th MXG

Col. Rod Rumpf, 139th Maintenance Group commander, relinquishes command of the maintenance group to Lt. Col. Andy Halter at the 139th Airlift Wing April 4, 2009.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Crane)

Changing command

April 4, 2009 -- The responsibilities of leadership of the 139th Maintenance Group passed from Col. Rod Rumpf to Lt. Col. Andy Halter during a ceremony April 4.
Col. Stephen Cotter, commander of the 139th Airlift Wing, praised Rumpf in his remarks following the ceremonial passing of the organizational flag.
  "He's a leader of men," Cotter said. "People respect him because there is nothing pretentious about him."
Cotter mentioned that Halter's father Larry Halter, a former 139th member, "was a good friend of mine," and joked that it took two of Larry's sons (Dave Halter is also an officer in the wing) to replace him.
  "Andy, I hope you are ready for the challenge," Cotter, who selected Halter to the position, said. "The bar has been set awfully high."
  The MXG scored an "Outstanding" in last fall's Operational Readiness Inspection, the highest rating possible.
  But Rumpf himself said Halter is ready and has been an intricate part of the unit's success for years.
  "I fully expect Andy will (succeed), because he's been doing the job full-time as I was part-time," Rumpf, a traditional Guardsman, said of his full-time deputy group commander.
  Rumpf, a command pilot with more than 5,900 flying hours, called the MXG commander position a surprise pleasure.
  "I didn't really know what I was getting into," he said, "but I ended up with the best job on the base."
  Halter was emotional during his remarks, thanking Rumpf for his service and noting their deployments together and that Rumpf had flown with his late father.
  He choked up when adding, "As a squadron commander, and as deputy group commander ... it is my distinct privilege to lead the best C-130 unit in the world.
I have been handed a highly polished gem, and it is my job to help it keep its luster."