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New Commander leads 114th Operations Group

Lt. Col. Cory Kestel took command of the 114th Operations Group from Col. Mark Morrell who assumed the 114th Fighter Wing vice commander position during a Change of Command Ceremony at Joe Foss Field, S.D. March 2, 2019.

Lt. Col. Cory Kestel took command of the 114th Operations Group from Col. Mark Morrell who assumed the 114th Fighter Wing vice commander position during a Change of Command Ceremony at Joe Foss Field, S.D. March 2, 2019. Kestel has been in the military for over 22 years and recently held the 175th Fighter Squadron commander position before taking on this new role. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Duane Duimstra)

JOE FOSS FIELD, S.D. --

The 114th Operations Group has a new commander leading them. Col. Cory Kestel took command of the 114th Operations Group from Col. Mark Morrell who assumed the 114th Fighter Wing vice commander position during a Change of Command Ceremony at Joe Foss Field, S.D. March 2, 2019.

Kestel has been in the military for over 22 years who recently held the 175th Fighter Squadron commander position before taking on this new role. He also pinned on the rank of colonel immediately after the ceremony.

As the 114th Operations Group commander, Kestel’s role involves representing both the Operations Group and 175th Fighter Squadron.

“My job is to advocate for resources and training opportunities that will allow Airmen to accomplish the mission.” said Kestel.

Kestel’s goals are to continue the tradition and reputation of excellence that the South Dakota Air National Guard has built over several decades of flying fighters and performing the mission.

He is looking forward to stepping out of the Fighter Squadron since he has spent his entire career there.

“I am really looking forward to getting involved more with the rest of the wing and getting know more Airmen and the roles they play in executing the mission”