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460th MDG gets new commander

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col. Michael Chyrek stands as the new commander of the 460th Medical Group after taking the reigns during a ceremony June 22 while former commander Col. Danny Seanger and 460th Space Wing Commander Col. Donald McGee cheer him on. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Logan Tuttle)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col. Michael Chyrek stands as the new commander of the 460th Medical Group after taking the reigns during a ceremony June 22 while former commander Col. Danny Seanger and 460th Space Wing Commander Col. Donald McGee cheer him on. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Logan Tuttle)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col. Danny Seanger relinquished command of the 460th Medical Group to Col. Michael Chyrek during a ceremony June 22 at the 460th Space Wing headquarters building here.

Colonel Seanger parted the group by commending its accomplishments during his tenure. He addressed its sequence of location changes, its service to the Total Force at Buckley, its five Air Force, 57 Air Force Space Command and five non-appropriated funds awards, and other milestones.

"Over the last 24 hours, I have heard I performed extraordinary deeds," he said with a tear choking his words. "I can assure you it was not courage that made me perform these deeds, but the shame of letting down the Mile High Medics who were counting on me."

Before handing the 460th MDG flag to the new commander, 460th Space Wing Commander Col. Donald McGee assured the 460th MDG that he is confident in Colonel Chyrek.

"I've never seen a more well rounded and qualified officer to take over the 460th MDG than Colonel Mike Chyrek," he said.

Colonel Chyrek came from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where he was the deputy commander and optometry flight commander of the 60th Aerospace Medicine Squadron. While there, he deployed to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, as the deputy commander of the 455th Expeditionary Medical Group. His Air Force career experience spans active duty, guard and Reserve.

"He'll understand the Total Force and tenant perspective," Colonel McGee said.

During his speech, Colonel Chyrek promised to do his utmost to fulfill his primary responsibilities: ensuring the 460th MDG will always be ready to execute its mission and making sure the people who must carry out that mission are well cared for. He also shared a bit of his leadership perspective, which is to make sure his troops enjoy coming to work each day and that the Medical Group family is truly a family.

Colonel Chyrek's decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal five oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the U.S. Armed Forces Iraqi Campaign Medal, the U.S. Armed Forces Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the U.S. Armed Forces Humanitarian Service Medal.

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