ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam – Brig. Gen. Steven Garland relinquished command of the 36th Wing to Brig. Gen. Andrew Toth during a change of command ceremony here June 19.
With the simple statement of, "I assume command," the guidon was passed from Lt. Gen. Russell Handy, 11th Air Force commander, to Toth, symbolizing the new commanding officer taking control in a time-honored tradition where the incoming commander assumes authority over the unit after it was relinquished by the previous commander.
“To the incredible men and women of the 36th Wing: Team Andersen, I am proud and honored to be joining the most diverse wing in the Air Force and the largest wing in the Pacific Air Forces,” said Toth. “I could not have asked to be part of a better team of officers, civilian and enlisted personnel.”
Handy officiated the ceremony and provided opening remarks before awarding Garland with the Legion of Merit for exceptional meritorious conduct and performance of outstanding service as the commander of the 36th Wing.
Garland expressed his gratitude to all of Team Andersen and the people of Guam for their support the past couple of years.
“Collectively, you are our best and brightest,” he said. “You are disciples of Air Power, passionate about this wing and what it means to the Pacific region. For you this isn’t an assignment, this is a calling and it’s an honor to work with every one of you.”
After a brief speech, Garland expressed his confidence in Toth’s skills and ability to take command and lead Team Andersen.
Previously stationed at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, Toth served as Director of Assignments and Air Expeditionary Force operations at the Air Force Personnel Center. He has served in a variety of squadron, group and wing-level positions, including tours as 33rd Fighter Wing Commander where he executed the stand-up of the first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter training operation.
Garland is moving on to serve as the 14th Air Force vice commander at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.