By Staff Sgt. Briell Zweygardt, 184th Public Affairs
Col. Mike Venerdi assumed command of the 184th Intelligence Wing during a change of command ceremony held at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, Sep. 8.
The official party included Venerdi, Col. Joe Jabara, outgoing commander, 184th IW; Brig. Gen. David Weishaar, commander, Kansas Air National Guard; and Chief Master Sgt. Sid Colliatie, command chief, 184th IW. Weishaar was the presiding official.
184th Intelligence Wing- Change of Command
Posted by 184th Intelligence Wing on Saturday, September 8, 2018
“Throughout military history, the orderly transfer of responsibility and authority from one commander to another has been an important tradition carried out in both war and peace,” said Lt. Col. Trenton Shepherd, commander, 184th Security Forces Squadron, and master of ceremonies. “This is not a ceremony for ceremony sake.”
As Weishaar welcomed Venerdi to his new position, he highlighted a few accomplishments. Venerdi first arrived at McConnell Air Force Base in 1998, while serving in the Active Duty Air Force. He transferred to the Air Force Reserves in August 2001, and a year later, transferred to the Air National Guard in September 2002.
In October 2016, he departed for an assignment at the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD. Earlier this year, he was selected to be the next commander of the 184th IW.
“Colonel Venerdi respects and values his team, and I have no doubt that he is going to bring great ideas and great enthusiasm to McConnell as well as to the 184th,” said Weishaar. “All of you can feel confident that you are getting an outstanding new commander.”
Weishaar spoke highly of Jabara. He expressed his gratitude and wished Jabara the best of luck on his new journey.
“With his ideas he worked tiresome to improve the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of the 184th’s most valuable asset, all of you out there,” said Weishaar.
Jabara shared his thanks and appreciation to the wing with his parting remarks.
“Leaders take the blame, organizations take the credit,” said Jabara. “Thanks to you there’s been much credit received and very little blame I’ve had to absorb over the last several years.”
Jabara assured the audience that Venerdi will be a great leader for the 184th IW.
“This man has unrivaled integrity,” said Jabara. “He is in it for you, not himself and he graces the country and service like our forefathers did with a strong sense of patriotism and pride. He is the right guy to lead this wing.”
“Jayhawks,” said Venerdi, “working 500 miles away in the North American Air States Defense Command for the last two years, it’s been awesome to witness some of your achievements.”
Venerdi highlighted some the 184th IW’s extraordinary accomplishments that he witnessed from afar, such as the improvements to intelligence capabilities, the mobilization of cyberspace warriors and humanitarian operations in response to natural disasters.
As a longtime aircrew member, he admitted his admiration for dominant airpower, but also recognized what was truly important—people.
“All the military and advanced technology weapon systems that are on display just a few hundred yards from us today would be reduced to simple wedges if not for the most important of our national resources, you,” said Venerdi. “Without inquisitive, energetic, motivated, passionate, and creative Airmen, who develop and execute the tactics, techniques and procedures in which lethality is employed, advanced weapons systems are simply matter.”
Venerdi closed by reminding the Airmen of their mission and what they are here for.
“Fighting Jayhawks, as we carry out our military duties and train to become more tactically effective,” said Venerdi, “let us remember that the fruits of our labor support Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines engaged in combat operations over 6,000 miles away. We can’t afford to fail. Let’s get to work.”