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7/9/2018 12:00 AM
Three New Squadron Commanders Assume Command
09 JUL 2018 – PÁPA - - Lieutenant Colonels Linda Thierauf of the United States Air Force, Åsmund Nåvik of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and John Roem of the Royal Netherlands Air Force have been appointed as Commanders of the Heavy Airlift Squadron, the Command and Control Squadron, and the Logistics Support Squadron respectively. The official change of command ceremony took place on 5 July at Pápa Air Base.

From Left: HAW Commander, Colonel Bjørn Gohn-Hellum. Outgoing HAS Commander,
Lieutenant Colonel Peer Geelen. Incoming HAS Commander, Lieutenant Colonel
Linda Thierauf. Photo: Jaime Reyes

The three Lieutenant Colonels assumed command from their predecessors, Thierauf from Lieutenant Colonel Peer Geelen of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Nåvik from Lieutenant Colonel Bengt Friberg of the Swedish Air Force, and Roem from Lieutenant Colonel Rickhard Nordfjäll of the Swedish Air Force.

Prior to their appointments as Squadron Commanders within The Heavy Airlift Wing, Lieutenant Colonel Thierauf has served as the Director of Operations of the U.S. Air Force 3rd Operations Support Squadron. She has also served as the Executive Officer to the Director, Regional Affairs, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs (SAF/IAR), and in a variety of operational flying, educational, and staff assignments. Lieutenant Colonel Linda Thierauf is a senior pilot with more than 3,000 flight hours in the C-17, C-21, and multiple training aircraft, and has over 400 combat hours flying airlift missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From Left: HAW Commander, Colonel Bjørn Gohn-Hellum. Outgoing C2S Commander,
Lieutenant Colonel Bengt Friberg. Incoming C2S Commander, Lieutenant Colonel
Åsmund Nåvik. Photo: Jaime Reyes

Lieutenant Colonel Nåvik has been appointed to the Inspectorate of Air Operations (IAO) as a Staff Officer, and responsibility as the Mission Planning Subject Matter Expert for all Royal Norwegian Air Force air systems. He has also served as the Head of Mission Planning section of the Royal Norwegian Air Force 338 Squadron, and received vital combat operation experience by supporting the Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16's deployed in operations.

From Left: HAW Commander, Colonel Bjørn Gohn-Hellum. Outgoing LSS Commander,
Lieutenant Colonel Rickhard Nordfjäll. Incoming LSS Commander, Lieutenant Colonel
John Roem. Photo: Jaime Reyes

Lieutenant Colonel Roem has served in a wide variety of logistics positions that includes serving in Royal Netherlands Air Force detachments in Italy and Canada. As Staff Officer Logistics and Airfields in the NATO Core Joint Force Allied Command, as Squadron Commander at the Royal Netherlands Air Force main support base, Lieutenant Colonel Roem has been deployed to NATO SFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in the UN Headquarters in Mali.


About the Strategic Airlift Capability

Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), established in 2008, is a multinational program that provides its 12 member nations with assured access to military airlift capability by owning and operating three Boeing C-17A Globemaster III long-range cargo aircraft.

SAC is based at the Hungarian Defense Forces (HDF) Pápa Air Base, Hungary.

The SAC Nations are the NATO members Hungary (program host nation), Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and the United States and NATO Partnership for Peace nations Finland and Sweden. Each participating nation owns a share of the available flight hours of the SAC C-17As to serve the needs of their national defense, NATO, EU or UN commitments and humanitarian relief efforts.

SAC consists of the 12-nation Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) and the NATO Airlift Management Programme Office (NAM PO). The HAW is the operational unit and the NAM PO, an integral part of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), is the acquisition and sustainment authority of the SAC C-17A weapon system.

NAM PO contracts with the U.S. Government, via Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Agreements with the USAF, for SAC C-17 Technical and integrated Product Support, Flight Crew Training and operational data services. The USAF in turn sub-contracts many of these services to Industry; notably Boeing and Pratt & Whitney.