The 35th Fighter Wing Change of Command Ceremony

  • Published
  • By 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Col. Jesse J. Friedel relinquished command of the 35th Fighter Wing (FW) to Col. Michael P. Richard during the wing’s official change of command ceremony, at Misawa Air Base, June 30, 2022.

Lt. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp, U.S. Forces Japan, and Fifth Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony.

Friedel served as commander of the 35th FW since July 2020, amidst a global pandemic, during which the wing earned the Air and Space Outstanding Unit Award; an award from the Secretary of the Air Force to ‘units that have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units.’

“It was an honor to be Weasel 1 over the last two years. I am proud of Team Misawa and their unwavering dedication to the mission. My family and I are grateful to all of you for making this assignment one that we will always remember” expressed Friedel.

Friedel will be moving on to Yokota Air Base, Japan, with the new rank of brigadier general to fulfill the role of Fifth Air Force deputy commander.

“I look forward to seeing the great things Team Misawa will accomplish under Col. Richard’s leadership,” said Friedel. “He understands the mission, and his expertise and mentality will successfully lead Team Misawa into the future, while maintaining mission readiness, as we continue working alongside our Japanese partners.”

Col. Richard was previously the 8th FW vice commander at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. He played a key role in the planning and execution of military operations to include counter-air, aerial interdiction, and close-air support on the Korean Peninsula. Richard is a command pilot with more than 2,200 hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and has over 400 combat hours in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, NEW DAWN, and UNIFIED PROTECTOR.

“I’m excited to work with the professional service members and families at Misawa. I want to continue to build the sense of community and family that makes Team Misawa so strong and capable,” said Richard. “Alongside my passion for people, my focus is to deter adversary aggression and assure our regional allies and partners that the U.S. is dedicated to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”