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414th Change of Command Ceremony
Col. Donald R. Lindberg, Commander, 482nd Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., presents the guidon to Col. Kevin Fesler, the new commander of the 414th Fighter Group during a Change of Command Ceremony July 13. The 414th FG is assigned to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base as part of the Air Force Total Force Integration Program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez)
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414th Fighter Group receives new commander

Posted 7/19/2012   Updated 7/19/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez
482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office

7/19/2012 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Col. Kevin Fesler assumed command of the 414th Fighter Group from Col. Keith Acree in a change of command ceremony at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., July 13.

Fesler comes to the 414th from Langley Air Force Base, Va., where he was the Air Force Reserve Advisor, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Director of Requirements.

"I am thankful for this opportunity to command the first-rate Airman of the 414th Fighter Group," said Fesler. "I look forward to becoming a member of this team and serving alongside my Airmen as we continue the tradition this unit is establishing of proven performance."

The 414th FG is part of the 482nd Fighter Wing at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. and is located at Seymour Johnson AFB as part of the Air Force Total Force Integration Program.

The Air Force Total Force Integration Program encompasses active duty, guard and reserve, working together to reduce unnecessary costs, increase readiness and manning, ensure better use of government assets, and maintain a stronger, better equipped total force.

The 414th FG includes both the 307th Fighter Squadron and the 414th Maintenance Squadron, which fly and maintain F-15E Strike Eagles of the 4th Fighter Wing and the F-16CJ Fighting Falcons of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.

"Col. Fesler has always been a number one performer, and Col. Acree can be confident he is handing off this unit to an exceptional commander," said Col. Donald R. Lindberg, 482nd Fighter Wing commander. "The 414th Fighter Group is a flourishing model of the Air Force's Total Force Integration Program and demonstrates the efficiency of a total force integration success."

After being assigned to Seymour Johnson AFB in 1995 as a student pilot, Fesler has left and returned to the base four times in his career for various leadership assignments. He has flown a range of military aircraft including the F-15E, F-15S and the F-22A, and has over 3,500 flight hours to include 764 combat flight hours.

In 2010, Acree took command of the 414th which had less than 10 personnel assigned. He leaves the group after helping it grow to nearly 300 personnel and overseeing the inception of the 414th Maintenance Squadron.

"I am honored and privileged to have led this outstanding unit," said Acree. "The mission we set out to do here is a success."

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