Herk Nation welcomes new installation commander

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dana J. Cable
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th Airlift Wing welcomed its new commander during a ceremony at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, June 1, 2023.

Col. Denny Davies succeeded Col. Angela Ochoa during the ceremony, officiated by the 18th Air Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Corey Martin.

“In every aspect of wing command, Angela has excelled,” said Martin. “She set a pace, an enviable pace, and so now I need a commander that will be able to match that pace. I am confident that Denny will be able to match the pace, and then push it… because the Black Knights deserve it, and they’re going to demand it.”

Davies, who most recently served as the vice commander of the 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is no stranger to the ‘Home of Herk Nation’ having served in a variety of positions, including C-130J instructor pilot and flight commander for the 41st Airlift Squadron and 19th Operations Support Squadron and as the Chief of the 19th AW’s Commanders Action Group.

Entering the Air Force in 2001 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Davies is a command pilot flying more than 2,500 hours and has served in U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Pacific Air Forces, Air Mobility Command, Headquarters Air Force, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and the Joint Staff. He deployed to the southwest Asia region six times in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

As installation commander, he is responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the personnel who operate, maintain, and sustain more than 52 C-130 aircraft, enabling support for combat, contingency and humanitarian requirements around the world. He is also accountable for ensuring the readiness and well-being of more than 10,000 personnel and families at Little Rock AFB.

In his first address as wing commander, Davies expressed his excitement as he returns to the Home of Herk Nation.

“Erika and I are absolutely thrilled, humbled, and honored to finally make it back home to our favorite base and the best military community in the United States,” said Davies. “We’ve created a ton of memories in Arkansas and look forward to creating more over the next two years.”

Davies offered his expectations as the wing stands at the precipice of this summer’s Mobility Guardian 2023 activities, both here in Arkansas and in the Indo-Pacific.

“Our Mobility Air Forces will project and connect the Joint force in ways not seen in recent history, while emphasizing the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific that operates under the precepts of a rules-based international order,” said Davies. “Your diligent preparation and Warrior Heart culture will lead our tactical airlift community into the future of Rapid Global Mobility. You truly are ready for the next challenge – and that challenge starts now.”

In Ochoa’s outgoing address, she thanked the 19 AW for their hard work and dedication to the Undaunted Tactical Airlift and Agile Combat Support mission.

“The world today is very different from the world 2 years ago, and I believe that history will look back on and show how our efforts here at the Home of Herk Nation paved the way for American success and victory,” said Ochoa. “You, the Black Knights, responded in every effort and led the way for change.  I could not be prouder.”

Ochoa leaves Little Rock AFB to become the commander of the 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, which provides global Special Air Mission airlift, logistics, aerial port and communications for the president, vice president, cabinet members, combatant commanders and other senior military and elected leaders as tasked by the White House, Air Force chief of staff and AMC.