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168th Wing conducts Change of Command

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey
  • 168th Wing

The 168th Wing deputy commander changed hands during a change of command ceremony August 5, 2023, at Eielson Air Force Base. Col. Ronald Oliver became the new deputy commander of the 168th Wing, and Col. Benjamin Doyle took the lead of the 168th Wing Operations Group.

Presiding over the ceremony, Col. Michael Griesbaum, 168th Wing commander, highlighted the achievements of the Wing and Operations Group.

Griesbaum shared Oliver’s achievements as a commander of the Operations Group, including ushering in hot pitting with the KC-135 Stratotanker and multi-capable Airmen.

Under Oliver’s command, he fulfilled 100 percent of the headquarters taskings, including alert response missions.

“I am looking forward to bringing us online with the Total Force integration and our active-duty partners to strengthen the mission together,” said Oliver. “We will soon have four more KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and more than 250 AD counterparts here as one team wearing the Polar Bear.”

Doyle took command of the Operations Group with already established relationships. He was responsible for providing direct oversight to the wing.

Doyle took a moment to speak to the men and women of the 168th Operations Group as he assumed command. 

"I am here to take care of people. The one thing I expect from you is to be a professional. That means you are professional in your AFSC and a professional officer, NCO, or airman.” 

Leveraging the strengths ensures the Air Force bolsters the strategic use of agile Airmen.

Doyle enlisted in the Alaska Air National Guard in 1993 as an Aerospace Propulsion Specialist. He received his commission in 1999 as a graduate of military science.

Amongst many accomplishments, Doyle has served in various staff positions, including Chief of Scheduling, Wing Plans Officer, Chief of Training, Chief of Safety, Operations Support Squadron Commander, and twice as the 13th EAS Commander in Vietnam and Vanuatu.

He has flown the KC-135R, KC135T, C-130E, and C-130H and is a command pilot with over 3,000 hours and over 260 combat hours.

Oliver has served as a combat A-10 pilot. He has deployed in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM and FREEDOM’S SENTINEL. 
He has flown the T-37, T-38, A-10A/C, OA-10A, and the KC-135R/T and is a command pilot with over 3,200 hours, including 81 combat sorties and 410 combat hours in the A-10/A and the KC-135. 

 Since joining the Alaska Air National Guard in 2015, Oliver has served as Commander of the 168th Operations Group, Operations Support Squadron, Director of Operations, and Flight Commander for the 168th Air Refueling Squadron. He was the Air Operations Center Director during Arctic Eagle 2018 and the Mission Commander for Pacific Angel 19-03.
Oliver joined the Air Force in 2000 and attended Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB.  He has held various leadership positions throughout his career. 

He led a Battalion TACP element supporting the 101st Airborne Division during the initial invasion of Iraq and was a Brigade Air Liaison Officer in RC(S) Afghanistan.  He has been a Director of Operations, Flight Commander, Chief of Plans, and Safety for various flying squadrons.  His final active duty assignment was as Commander, Detachment 1, 3d Air Support Operations Squadron, Ft Wainwright, Alaska.