DES MOINES, Iowa -- The new Iowa Air National Guard commander for the 132nd Wing in Des Moines is the first of his kind.
Commander Mark Chidley is the first non-rated commander there, and his fellow service-members say he's the perfect one for the job. Dozens of people gathered to watch Chidley become the new commander on Saturday.
"Top commander here, over 900 personnel assigned to the wing, and responsibility for making sure making sure that all of our missions are completely and correctly executed," he said.
Chidley is a non-flyer, which means he is the first non-rated colonel to become commander of this wing. Commander Shawn Ford, for whom Chidley will take over, said despite not being a pilot, Chidley is the top choice for the job.
"He is the right person for the job. He's not selected because he's non-rated, he's selected because he's got the skill sets to take this wing to the next level," Ford said.
Chidley is excited to give back to an organization he said has helped him become the man he is today.
"This wing has given me tremendous opportunities and I feel like it's the best opportunity to give back and serve this wing the best way I can," he said.
All by supporting his airmen while successfully completing missions.
Chidley is responsible for training, equipping, and preparing units for a national emergency. He has already completed 13 assignments with the Iowa National Guard.