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New 111th SFS Commander brings badge, pilot wings to table

A woman wearing an Air Force uniform hands a unit flag to a man in uniform.

Pennsylvania Air National Guard Lt. Col Alex VanZant, an Air Force pilot previously assigned to the 111th Operations Group, stands at attention while preparing to assume command of the 111th Security Forces Squadron by accepting the unit’s colors from PAANG Col. Christine Munch, 111th Mission Support Group Commander, during a ceremony at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Nov. 6, 2021. VanZant, who served in law enforcement in addition to being an Air Force pilot, represents a deliberate blending of areas of expertise between the Wing’s operations and mission support groups. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Ross Whitley)

A woman wearing an Air Force uniform hands a unit flag to a man in uniform.

Pennsylvania Air National Guard Lt. Col Alex VanZant, an Air Force pilot previously assigned to the 111th Operations Group, assumes command of the 111th Security Forces Squadron by accepting the unit’s colors from PAANG Col. Christine Munch, 111th Mission Support Group Commander, during a ceremony at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Nov. 6, 2021. VanZant, who served in law enforcement in addition to being an aviator, said he was humbled to take command of such a respected part of the Wing. (U.S. Air National photo by Tech. Sgt. Ross Whitley)

BIDDLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Pa. --

Pennsylvania Air National Guard Lt. Col Alex VanZant, an Air Force pilot previously assigned to the 111th Operations Group, assumed command of the 111th Security Forces Squadron after accepting the unit’s colors from PAANG Col. Christine Munch, 111th Mission Support Group Commander, during a ceremony at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Nov. 6, 2021.

Munch, a former 111th SFS commander herself, discussed the mantle of leadership during the ceremony.

“When you have that flag sitting in your office and you realize that you're responsible for those people [Security Forces Airmen] and those people are at the pinnacle of what can happen and what could go wrong on this base, that's a heavy burden to hold,” said Munch

Munch went on to highlight VanZant’s qualifications for his new role as SFS Commander.

“He's actually kind of a perfect fit for the Security Forces Squadron because of his background in law enforcement,” said Munch.

VanZant, who served in law enforcement in addition to being an aviator, represents a deliberate blending of areas of expertise between the Wing’s operations and mission support groups in an effort to groom potential Wing Commanders, said Munch.

“I didn't even contemplate what it would be like to stand up here and to see this blend of people,” said Munch. “And, I definitely appreciate the blend of the two major groups here at the base.”

VanZant said he was humbled by the opportunity to take command of such a respected part of the Wing after a dream-filled career that started with a “dream sheet” he filled out while at Penn State Reserve Officer Training. 

“I remember putting down pilot, security forces, and navigator,” said VanZant.  “And, fast forward 20 years. I've checked all those boxes.”

“My goal is to leave the Security Forces Squadron better than I found it,” said VanZant. “And, based on everything that's come before, and everything that is going on there now, it will be a challenge because of how high the bar is to start. But, I'm up for that challenge.”