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466th Fighter Squadron welcomes new commander

Col. David Castaneda (left), 419th Operations Group commander, passes the 466th Fighter Squadron flag to Lt. Col. Dave DeAngelis during a change of command ceremony at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, June 4. “We take a big step today as we move through the transition to the F-35,” Castaneda said. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Justin Fuchs)

Col. David Castaneda (left), 419th Operations Group commander, passes the 466th Fighter Squadron flag to Lt. Col. Dave DeAngelis during a change of command ceremony at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, June 4. “We take a big step today as we move through the transition to the F-35,” Castaneda said. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Justin Fuchs)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The 466th Fighter Squadron from Hill’s 419th Fighter Wing held a change of command ceremony June 4 as Lt. Col. Surya Frickel relinquished command to Lt. Col. Dave DeAngelis.

 

Frickel commanded the 466th FS since 2015, leading the squadron during its transition from F-16 to the Air Force’s newest fighter jet, the F-35 Lightning II.

 

“It’s hard to express all the pride I have in working with all of you,” Frickel said to an audience of reservists, friends, and family. “You bring the best of America to the fight.”

 

Prior to assuming command, DeAngelis commanded the 419th Operations Group, Detachment 1. DeAngelis, who started flying the F-35 in March 2016 as part of the initial cadre, has deployed to Iraq and Korea, and is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

 

“I hope to give back to you as the commander,” DeAngelis told the women and men of the 466th FS. “We truly are the best.”

 

The first operational F-35As arrived at Hill AFB in October 2015. Hill AFB currently has 22 F-35s and will eventually be home to 78 aircraft and three operational F-35 fighter squadrons by the end of 2019.