By Master Sgt. Matt McCoy, 184th Wing Public Affairs
Col. Jason Knobbe assumed command of the 184th Wing during a change of command ceremony at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, April 1.
The official party included Col. Chris Ioder, commander, Kansas Air National Guard; Col. Michael Venerdi, outgoing commander; Col. Jason Knobbe, incoming commander; and Chief Master Sgt. Randi Hill, command chief, 184th WG.
Ioder began the ceremony with praise for both leaders.
“Colonel Venerdi has done an incredible job ensuring that America’s warfighters receive the highest quality cyber, intelligence and other critical support from the 184th Wing,” Ioder said. “I know that Colonel Knobbe will continue providing the highest level of leadership and care for the men and women he leads.”
Venerdi has commanded the Wichita-based unit since September 2018. During his time as commander, the wing focused on operational readiness, domestic operations, as well as developing mission experts and future leaders.
“The Fighting Jayhawks continue to impress me with their adaptability, responsiveness and mission expertise,” said Venerdi. “With Colonel Knobbe leading the wing, I know the tradition will continue.”
Venerdi also supported efforts to boost the unit’s pride in its history and heritage.
Knobbe expressed his personal pride in being a Fighting Jayhawk after receiving the wing’s guidon.
“I came to the 184th to be a B-1 [weapons systems operator] to drop bombs and engage targets, but honestly, I stayed in the 184th for the people, because of you all,” said Knobbe. “I ended up here by chance but stayed by choice.”
Knobbe joined the 184th Bomb Wing after graduating from the University of Kansas in 1998. Knobbe, a Kansas native, has served in multiple capacities throughout the unit’s numerous conversions. He became the wing’s vice commander in 2018.
“It is my absolute honor to receive the guidon for the 184th Wing,” said Knobbe. “This is my home and I have watched the organization transition many times – from the 184th Bomb Wing, to the 184th Air Refueling Wing, to the 184th Intelligence Wing, to finally, as we know it today, the 184th Wing.”
“At every change point, we collectively made that transition and we excelled, because of you all,” said Knobbe. “Because of your get-it-done attitude and your commitment to excellence.”
Knobbe highlighted the diverse mission sets assigned to the 184th WG which include cyberspace operations, battlefield intelligence, command and control, mission support and medical. Each mission set is broken down even further into specialized capabilities.
“That is why I am excited to continue to be part of the leadership team in the 184th,” said Knobbe. “And trust me, it definitely takes a team. I am very much a team player and believe in the concept that we are collectively better.”
Knobbe asked wing members to continue focusing on fundamentals, remain committed to excellence, and maintain a professional culture.
“Additionally, I want to challenge each of our members today to know why their job is important, how it affects the community, the state, and how it can impact the country,” said Knobbe. “Each and every one of you contribute to the [domestic operations] mission and each and every one of you contribute to the warfighting efforts.”
The ceremony was a private event with less than 10 people in attendance to comply with the state’s safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.