FORT BRAGG, NC – The U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command held their first change of command ceremony June 13 when Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum relinquished command to Col. Clayton M. Hutmacher.
Mangum was the first Commanding General of USASOAC, which was provisionally activated in March 2011. Mangum thanked his staff and supporters.
“This has been a great adventure starting a command and establishing a headquarters from scratch, “he said. “We have labored to build the right form and function, the correct organization and process, to build the USASOC aviation enterprise and orchestrate all things aviation for the command.”
Lt. Gen. John Mulholland Jr., U.S. Army Special Operations Command commanding general, presided over the ceremony on Meadows Field at the USASOC headquarters.
In a separate ceremony prior to the change of command, Mangum was presented the Gold Order of St. Michael, which recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the promotion of Army Aviation. Out of more than 8,000 recipients of the Order of St. Michael, Mangum is only the 110th to receive the Gold Award. Retired Lt. Gen. Daniel Petrosky, Army Aviation Association of America President, presented the award.
“I am as thrilled to be on the team as I was over 27 years ago when I joined this family for the first time,” said Mangum, speaking on his years of service in Army aviation. “I have been blessed to serve with great heroes who are willing to sacrifice all they are and all they have to complete their mission, protect their precious cargo and support the ground force commander.”
Hutmacher assumes command following an assignment as assistant commanding general for Special Operations Forces Mobility, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission, Afghanistan. Hutmacher returns to Army Special Operations Aviation after spending three previous tours with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne).
His last assignment with ARSOA was as the 160th SOAR (A) regimental commander, where four years ago he was also passed the guidon by outgoing regimental commander Mangum.
“Amy and I are following a splendid command team following the Mangums, and I will continue the exceptional work of Maj. Gen. Mangum in ensuring the long term health and relevance of the ARSOA enterprise,” remarked Hutmacher. “The establishment of the USASOAC is a significant milestone and we are excited and humbled to have the opportunity to serve with ARSOA Soldiers, Civilians, and Family members again.”