111th Operations Group welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Tyrone Mitchell
  • Pennsylvania Air National Guard

U.S. Air National Guard Lt. Col. Alex Van Zant, the new 111th Operations Group Commander, assumed command of the 111th OG during an assumption of command ceremony at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania, Sept. 27, 2023.

U.S. ANG Col. Lynn Lee, 111th ATKW Commander, who previously served as 111th OG Commander before assuming her current role as 111th ATKW Commander, presided over the ceremony.

Lee said Van Zant, who has previously served as 111th Security Forces Squadron Commander, and most recently 103rd Attack Squadron Commander, was absolutely the right person for the job at the right time.

“Not only is Lt. Col. Van Zant a subject matter expert on the MQ-9 and an extremely proficient pilot who is very well respected throughout the MQ-9 community,” said Lee. “He also displays an amazing ability to display compassion for his people while simultaneously holding them accountable for meeting standards and accomplishing their mission.”

During the ceremony, Van Zant accepted the 111th OG guidon and assumed command of the Group, which is comprised of the 103rd ATKS, the 111th Operations Support Squadron, and the 112th Cyber Operations Squadron.

Van Zant made sure to thank his wife and his family as well as his teammates for their support while addressing those in attendance.

“I am truly humbled and honored to accept this position,” said Van Zant. “When I came to the base about ten years ago, I never thought when I showed up that one day I'd be [Group Commander]”

Van Zant also spoke about the transformational leadership he has witnessed among the Wing’s enlisted and officer corps throughout his time here.

“This base is full of transformational leaders that really make you want to be here,” said Van Zant. “They make you want to do better. And with transformational leaders, they don't really care who gets the credit as much as they care about getting the mission done. And with that, I say thank you very much for the opportunity. Thank you all for being the example that I strive to achieve every day.”