AP NEWS

Vermont Air National Guard to get new commander

January 5, 2020 GMT

A veteran fighter pilot is set to take command of the Vermont Air National Guard’s 158th Fighter Wing.

Col. David Shevchik is set to take command during a formal ceremony on Sunday at the Vermont guard base at the Burlington International Airport in South Burlington.

Shevchik will succeed Col. David Smith, who is retiring after 31 years of service to the Vermont Air National Guard.

Shevchik is taking command as the Vermont air guard is in the process of taking delivery of what will be 20 F-35 fighter jets. So far five have been delivered.

The Vermont air guard is the first air guard unit in the country to receive the next-generation fighters. The Air Force describes the F-35 as its fifth-generation fighter, combining stealth technology with speed and agility.

Shevchik, most recently the commander of the 158th Operations Group, is a Vermont native and graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. He has been with the Vermont guard since 2007.

“Colonel Shevchik brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, and is more than capable as we continue our transition to the F-35,” Brigadier Gen. Greg Knight, the head of the Vermont National Guard, said in a statement.