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6/19/2020 10:00 AM
Two New Squadron Commanders Assume Command
19 JUNE 2020 – PÁPA - - Lieutenant Colonels Benjamin Wood of the United States Air Force, and Mikael Tormalm of the Swedish Air Force have been appointed as Commanders of the Command and Control Squadron, and the Heavy Airlift Squadron
respectively. The official change of command ceremony took place on June 18, at Pápa Air Base.

Lieutenant Colonel Mikael Tormalm assumes command of the Heavy Airlift Squadron. Photo: Henrik Gebhardt / HAW

​​The two Lieutenant Colonels assumed command from their predecessors, Tormalm from Lieutenant Colonel Linda Thierauf of the United States Air Force, and Wood from Lieutenant Colonel Aasmund Naavik of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

The two new squadron Commanders are already familiar faces in the Heavy Airlift Wing, as they previously have served in the Heavy Airlift Squadron.

Prior to joining the Heavy Airlift Wing in 2014, Lieutenant Colonel Tormalm was assigned to the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters where he was responsible for procurement and training of pilots for the SAAB 39 Gripen fighter system. He has also been assigned to the 21st Fighter Wing in Lulea, flying all versions of the SAAB 37 Viggen fighter, and the SAAB 39 Gripen fighter. After completing his assignment as fighter pilot he served as instructor at the Swedish Air Force Pilot Training School, specializing in tactical flying training. Lieutenant Colonel Mikael Tormalm is a C-17 Instructor Pilot, with 2,000 flying hour in the C-17 and a total of 4,000 flying hours.

Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Wood assumes command of the Command and Control Squadron. Photo: Henrik Gebhardt / HAW

Lieutenant Colonel Wood joined the Heavy Airlift Wing in 2018. Prior to that he was stationed at the Deployable Air Command and Control Centre, NATO AIRCOM, Poggio Renatico, Italy as Chief Support Plans. Lieutenant Colonel Wood has also been squadron weapons officer and Deputy Chief, wing tactics at the 437th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, SC, and squadron weapons system officer and Chief, squadron Standardization Evaluation, at the 17th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, SC. Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Wood is a senior pilot with more than 4,300 flying hours in the C-17.

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) Papa Air Base, Hungary.

The SAC nations are the NATO members Hungary (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 own 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.