139th News

Wing announces new vice commander

  • Published
  • By Maj. Melanie Englert
  • 139th Airlift Wing
Col. Ralph Schwader, commander of the 139th Airlift Wing, announced today during a base wide commander's call that Col. Ed Black will be the new vice commander.

Black's first day as vice commander will be Feb. 9. He is currently the commander of the 139th Operations Group.

Black will replace Col. Dave Halter, who will retire with 30 years of military service. An official military ceremony will be held during March drill.

"Dave [Halter] has been a great part of this team," said Schwader. "He brought a lot of experience to the table."

"It amazes me all the places I've been able to travel coming from a small town," said Halter.

While Black is not new to leadership positions he conveyed his focus, now the wing commander's priorities, of readiness, recruitment and retention as well as furthering our partnership with the St. Joseph Community. 

"The National Guard is by definition a community based organization," said Black. "Our unit is especially blessed with strong support from St. Joseph and the surrounding communities."

Black spent a few years working at the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C. During his time there, he was an executive assistant for Gen. Craig McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

"I'll always help our wing focus on recruiting and retaining talented people, training them for our specialized missions, and ensuring we have the proper equipment and organizing our efforts to fulfill this call to duty," said Black.

Black is a Missouri native who graduated from DeKalb High School in 1988 and Central Missouri State University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Technology.  Black also earned a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 2012.