Okies welcome new wing commander

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mary Begy
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Col. Michael Parks succeeded Col. Miles Heaslip as the commander of the 507th Air Refueling Wing here in a change of command ceremony Nov. 8, 2020.


Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Pennington, 4th Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony, which took place at 9 a.m. in Hangar 1030. 


Col. Parks, who is currently active duty will take command of the 507th ARW, an Air Force Reserve Command Unit, while remaining active duty.


“My admiration for you as Reserve Citizen Airmen will never falter,” said Parks. “[Wing leadership] will serve you by prioritizing your quality of service and maintaining a wing where Airmen want to drill.”


As the incoming 507th ARW commander, Parks will lead more than 1,100 Reserve Citizen Airmen in three subordinate groups and 11 squadrons, who support daily missions both locally and around the world for Air Mobility Command and U.S. Strategic Command's national emergency war order requirements. 


Heaslip, who served as commander from June 2018 to November 2020, praised the Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 507th Air Refueling Wing for their many accomplishments during his tenure as commander, including being awarded 4th Air Force’s 2019 Raincross award. 


“This wing is a family, they work together and get it done,” said Heaslip, who will move onto 4th Air Force headquarters at March Air Reserve Base, California. 


Col. Parks was commissioned following his graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Since then he has served as the following: command pilot, staff service, chief of safety, director of operations, squadron commander and vice wing commander.


“I am honored to now be an Okie, and I am humbled to be your commander,” Parks said.


Command Chief, Fourth Air Force, Chief Master Sgt. Cynthia Villa, family and friends were in attendance to show their support for the new commander, as well as the following Team Tinker leaders: 72nd Air Base Wing commander, Col. Paul Filcek, Chief Master Sergeant Keith Scott, 72nd Air Base Wing command chief, 552nd Air Control Wing commander, Col. Alain Poisson, and the commander of the 513th Air Control Group, Col. James Mattey.