The 944th OG welcomes a new commander

  • Published
  • By Staff. Sgt. Chris Moore
  • 944th Fighter Wing
As the sun rises over the Saguaros of the Arizona desert, Col. Korey E. Amundson, 944th Operations Group outgoing commander, passes the torch to Col. Trena Savageau, 944th OG incoming commander, during a change of command ceremony here, April 12, 2019.

The ceremony, attended by family, friends, and personnel of 944th and 56th Fighter Wings, was presided over by Col. Bryan E. Cook, 944th Fighter Wing commander.

The 944th OG is a team of Reserve and active duty Airmen, civilians, and contractors responsible for overseeing the aviation actions of active and reserve instructor pilots assigned to Luke, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico and Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. With their active-duty counterparts, they ensure pilots are ready to meet the requirements of combat air forces.

During his command tour, Col. Korey Amundson was 100 percent mission focused, all while taking care of his people and ensuring the highest of morale in the OG.

“Today is bitter sweet - we’re losing a long time member of the 944th FW family, who has become instrumental in expanding our F-35 instructor cadre, as well ensuring success in the F-16 future here at Luke,” said Cook. “But it’s sweet, because we get to welcome another long-time 944th FW member in Col. Savageau, who has been a tremendous commander for the 69th Fighter Squadron and an asset for our wing."

The 944th OG is tasked to support worldwide mobility and combat employment operations in conjunction with supporting the Air Education and Training Command mission to train F-16 and F-35 pilots for the United States Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and other participating nations.

“It’s an exciting time in the 944th OG,” said Amundson. “What used to be just the 69th FS has blossomed into a robust AFRC Group with F-16s and F-35s at Luke, F-16s at Holloman, and F-35s at Eglin. “I foresee the 944th OG continuing to grow our classic association in the F-35 with our partner nations down the street. Col. Savageau has the unique opportunity to shape the future of AFRC here at Luke AFB, and based on her experience and tenacity, I have no doubt that the 944th OG is in great hands. My only advice is to enjoy the ride. Not many people in the world get to sit in your seat and affect the mission and lives of so many great Airmen, it’s absolutely awesome!”

Incoming commander, Savageau, received her commission from the United States Air Force Academy in May 1998. She earned her pilot wings from Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, in October 1999 and has served as an F-16 pilot, instructor pilot, and evaluator pilot. She has operational experience in Southeast Asia and Korea.

"I expect Col. Savageau will continue the long-traditions of the 944th OG as well as continue to expand our cadre in both the F-35 and F-16,” said Cook. “I also foresee the relationship between the 56th OG and 944th OG becoming even more efficient as we move forward into the future and expand into new horizons.”

Savageau separated from active duty in 2007 and joined the 944th FW’s Total Force Enterprise as a traditional Reservist and instructor pilot in the 301st Fighter Squadron and later the 69th Fighter Squadron.

“I am passionate about the mission here, the mission to train the world’s best F-16 and F-35 pilots,” said Savageau. “But what I absolutely love are the people, our continuity of mission and our experience make us invaluable. I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve a more integral role in this mission.”

The 944th OG, continues to play a key role at Luke and have successfully built an F-35 Foreign Military Sales program from the ground up. They have contributed to the authorization of tactics manuals and syllabi for the U.S., Australia, Norway, Italy, Israel, Japan, and South Korea, and set the foundation for how to train the next generations of warriors.

"I am in awe of you, the younger generation," said Savageau. “You crush the mission, and still find time to be spouses, parents, and endeavor to encourage and lift each other up. I am honored to know and serve with you."