521st Air Mobility Operations Wing Welcomes New Commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Joshua T. Crossman
  • 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing
The 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing has welcomed its newest commander during the wing’s Change of Command ceremony July 3, 2024, in Hangar 5 on Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

During the ceremony, Col. Dan Cooley relinquished command of the 521 AMOW after serving as the unit’s 8th commander. Col. Jordan Norman acquired the guidon shortly after, symbolizing his acceptance of his new role as the 521 AMOW commander. In the midst of, the ceremony, Chief Master Sgt. Jeremiah Grisham handed over the responsibility of being the wing command chief to Chief Master Sgt. Scott Piper.

Maj. Gen. John Klein, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander, presided over the 521 AMOW Change of Command ceremony.

During the ceremony, Klein stated, “The 5-2-1 team is on the leading edge of innovation and ongoing operations. You are developing the concepts which will enable our future success through contested logistics in the emerging era of great power competition … all the while, sustaining current operations – Col. Cooley and Chief Grisham led the way.”

In the last two years alone, the wing has moved 604,000 passengers and 303,000 tons of cargo over 43,000 missions.

Addressing the Airmen of the 521 AMOW, Cooley stated, “The world was watching, and you delivered. Strategic success for our nation is made possible, at the tactical level, by the effort you put forth every day. What you do matters.” 

The 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, commonly referred to as the “en route”, has been no stranger to real world operations during Cooley’s tenure. During his command, the wing directly provided air mobility support to Türkiye earthquake relief, Pakistan flooding, Sudan embassy evacuation, Israel-Hamas conflict, and much more. Under Cooley’s leadership, the wing earned 22 Major Command and higher awards and was the only unit in Air Mobility Command to be awarded the Meritorious Unit Award for 2023.

Introducing the new command team, Klein introduced Norman and Piper as, “Leaders with tactical expertise, operational acumen, and strategic depth uniquely prepared and competitively selected to command the 521 AMOW at a pivotal moment in our Nation’s history.”

Norman is coming from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, after being the commander of the 305th Operation Group. He commanded 800 officers, enlisted, and civilian Airmen charged with operating C-17 Globemaster III’s and KC-46 Pegasus’ aircraft in support of Combatant Commander objectives. He also maintained two airfields and controlled a section of the United States busiest airspace.

“Finally, my deepest appreciation goes to the men and women of the 5-2-1,” stated Norman. “I know you have accomplished much under Col. Cooley’s leadership. Your work over these past few years had significant global impacts. I have first-hand experience with elements of your success as our combined teams worked together through late 2023 to set the theater for crisis across the Middle East. I was amazed by the work this team accomplished which utterly quelled an Iranian strike on a U.S. ally consisting of 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles, and 120 ballistic missiles.”

Norman has now assumed command of the 521 AMOW, which consists of two groups, nine squadrons, 19 locations in 13 separate countries, spanning across 5,000 miles, five times zones and supports four combatant commands in three areas of responsibility.

“I’m confident we’ll face additional challenges in an increasingly volatile security environment, but I am equally confident that, as a team, we will rise to those challenges and excel as they come,” stated Norman. “Over the next 2 years I am excited to see you showcase that the U.S. and our allies can DEPEND ON US. I’m proud and honored to be a part of your organization and I’m looking forward to working with each of you.”