MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Marine Aircraft Group 12’s torch of leadership passed from Col. Christopher J. Mahoney to Col. Hunter H. Hobson during the MAG-12 change - of - command ceremony near the Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 122 hangar here, May 31, 2013.
With the passing of the reigns for the Pacific powerhouse group that is MAG-12, some changes forthcoming.
“There will always be changes. Changes in personality, changes in some of the things that individuals think or might be more important than others,” said Mahoney. “But Colonel Hobson is a genuine combat hero. He is an aviator of the first order and I really couldn’t think of anybody else that I would want to put in front of this group after me. He understands why we are here, he knows how to lead people and put an edge on tactics. He will push this group to levels that they probably didn’t think were possible.”
With Mahoney’s time commanding MAG-12 coming to a close, he reflected on what has been accomplished under his charge.
“Impact is measured by other people looking at what you have done and not what you think you have done,” said Mahoney. “Other people have to measure that. The things that we have tried to do have all centered around being ready to go quicker, being ready to go quicker with more and ready to go into battle. So, whether we have attained that or not, the ultimate test would happen in combat... I feel sorry for anyone who may challenge this air group, in the air or on the ground.”
With his new position as MAG-12 commanding officer, Hobson gave insight as to how he felt the group is progressing.
“Here in Iwakuni, we enjoy many advantages that other MAGs back in the states don’t,” said Hobson. “The others are force providers. They basically put together the best squadrons they can and send those forward out here to Japan … It is critical that we be good stewards to those groups and utilize them in a way that is meaningful.”
With the success MAG- 12 has achieved in the past, Hobson elaborated on upcoming plans for the future.
“Innovative ideas like taking everyone down to Tinian and carving out the runways there and start using them,” said Hobson. “They had C-130s out there landing. Now going back and redoing those runways, having airplanes come in and do arrested landings and setting the record for most arrested landings on an expeditionary airfield, and I’d like to continue to do that over the next few years. I think that is exactly the direction that MAG-12 needs to continue to go and I’m going to make sure that happens.”
In closing remarks, Hobson let others know how he feels to be a part of MAG-12.
“I am extremely proud to be here, this unit has an amazing history and a proud heritage and I am honored to be part of MAG-12,” said Hobson.