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Port dawgs welcome new commander

Col. Richard Ropac, 507th Mission Support Group commander, hands the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron guidon Lt. Col. Darryl McLean, Feb. 10, 2019, during a change of command ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Col. Richard Ropac, 507th Mission Support Group commander, hands the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron guidon Lt. Col. Darryl McLean, Feb. 10, 2019, during a change of command ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Reserve Citizen Airmen 507th Air Refueling Wing Honor Guard post the colors during the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron change of command ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Reserve Citizen Airmen 507th Air Refueling Wing Honor Guard post the colors during the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron change of command ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Lt. Col. William Young, center, stands before the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron prior to relinquishing command Feb. 10, 2019, at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Col. Richard Ropac, left, 507th Mission Support Group commander, transferred the guidon to new commander, Lt. Col. Darryl McLean, moments later. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Lt. Col. William Young, center, stands before the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron prior to relinquishing command Feb. 10, 2019, at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Col. Richard Ropac, left, 507th Mission Support Group commander, transferred the guidon to new commander, Lt. Col. Darryl McLean, moments later. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Lt. Col. William Young, right, relinquishes command of the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron Feb. 10, 2019, at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma to Col. Richard Ropac, 507th Mission Support Group commander, who passed the guidon to Col. Darryl McLean moments later. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Lt. Col. William Young, right, relinquishes command of the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron Feb. 10, 2019, at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma to Col. Richard Ropac, 507th Mission Support Group commander, who passed the guidon to Col. Darryl McLean moments later. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Lt. Col. Darryl McLean, center, stands before the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron after being named their new commander Feb. 10, 2019, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Col. Richard Ropac, left, 507th Mission Support Group commander, transferred the guidon to McLean from Lt. Col. William Young, right, after Young served as 72nd APS for nine years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Lt. Col. Darryl McLean, center, stands before the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron after being named their new commander Feb. 10, 2019, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Col. Richard Ropac, left, 507th Mission Support Group commander, transferred the guidon to McLean from Lt. Col. William Young, right, after Young served as 72nd APS for nine years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron welcome their new commander, Lt. Col. Darryl McLean, Feb. 10, 2019, during a change of command ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 72nd Aerial Port Squadron welcome their new commander, Lt. Col. Darryl McLean, Feb. 10, 2019, during a change of command ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Samantha Mathison)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.— Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 72nd Aerial Port squadron here bid farewell to their longtime commander during a change of command ceremony Feb. 10, 2019.

Lt. Col. William Young, 72nd APS commander for the past 9 years, relinquished command of the squadron by passing the guidon to incoming commander Lt. Col. Darryl McLean, who was previously assigned as a military comptroller for the 301st Fighter Wing at NAS JRB Ft. Worth, Texas.

Air Transportation specialists refer to themselves as “aerial porters”, “porters,” or “port dawgs.” McLean, a North Carolina native, provided some insight into the mindset of a port dawg, focusing on the characteristics of loyalty and strength.

“The strength of a dog comes from its pack; from its family,” McLean said. “My strength is right here with my family. If I didn’t have that foundation, I would definitely come up short. I encourage you all to tap into your pack.”

507th Mission Support Group Commander, Col. Richard Ropac, officiated the ceremony.

“I’ve known Lt. Col. McLean for over a decade,” Ropac said. “Little did he know, those 10 years were actually a job interview.”

As the new 72nd APS commander, McLean leads a staff of 114 Reserve Citizen Airmen, providing qualified personnel and equipment to support aerial operations essential to the deployment, sustainment and redeployment of Department of Defense operations worldwide.

Outgoing commander, Lt. Col. William Young, will now serve as the deputy commander of the 507th MSG.