Ellsworth welcomes new base commander

  • Published
  • By 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Col. Joseph Sheffield took charge of the world’s largest operational B-1B wing during the 28th Bomb Wing change of command ceremony in the Pride Hangar on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 18.

Ellsworth Airmen and their families joined community and political leaders at the ceremony officiated by Maj. Gen. Mark Weatherington, Eighth Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander.

In his opening remarks, Weatherington welcomed everyone and took time to recognize the significance of the first observance of Juneteenth as a national holiday.

“This is a designation that is long overdue,” the general said. “It is fitting on this day that we celebrate the ratification of the 13th Amendment and … for taking that first step of valuing the contributions of all our people.”

He then highlighted the history of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, with special emphasis on the significant role that Ellsworth continues to play in projecting strategic airpower around the globe. He recognized Col. David Doss, the outgoing 28th BW commander, for all the base accomplished during his two-year term, then turned his attention to Sheffield.

“Colonel Sheffield is no stranger to the B-1, and he is very familiar with the combat mission of this wing,” Weatherington said. “He possesses the character, self-discipline and compassion needed to lead Airmen to places they never could have imagined.”

He added that we face a challenging future in an era of great power competition and a period in which the demand for bombers is higher than ever.  He affirmed that Sheffield and Ellsworth are up to the task.

“I am confident you will be the difference maker for this wing,” Weatherington said. “Lead this team well and fly safe. I can’t wait to see what you will achieve.”

Sheffield comes to Ellsworth from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, where he served as the 36th Operations Group commander. He is a command pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours and 1,125 combat hours, and he has served in a variety of B-1 operational assignments including previous stints at Ellsworth. From April 2014 to March 2016 he commanded the 37th Bomb Squadron and led the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron on two deployments to Southwest Asia.

“It is truly an honor and privilege to be back at Ellsworth to lead the Raiders of the 28th Bomb Wing,” Sheffield said. “In the five years I have been away from the base I have seen and followed the tremendous impacts the 28th Bomb Wing has had on the global stage, such as multiple Bomber Task Force operations to various areas of responsibility, that reaffirmed Ellsworth is ready to provide combat airpower – anytime, anywhere – even during the challenges of a global pandemic. That’s impressive.”

Sheffield, the 44th commander at Ellsworth, said he is devoted to meeting the needs of all those serving at the base.  

“Ellsworth has a rich and storied history,” he said. “Time and again our dedicated Airmen have worked tirelessly to execute our mission and answer our nation’s call. I very much look forward to serving with the high caliber individuals who make up our ranks, and am committed to providing them and their families with the support and leadership they need to further our history and ensure we are able to accomplish the mission now and in the future.”

Col. Joseph Sheffield took charge of the world’s largest operational B-1B wing during the 28th Bomb Wing change of command ceremony in the Pride Hangar on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., June 18.

Ellsworth Airmen and their families joined community and political leaders at the ceremony officiated by Maj. Gen. Mark Weatherington, Eighth Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander.

In his opening remarks, Weatherington welcomed everyone and took time to recognize the significance of the first observance of Juneteenth as a national holiday.

“This is a designation that is long overdue,” the general said. “It is fitting on this day that we celebrate the ratification of the 13th Amendment and … for taking that first step of valuing the contributions of all our people.”

He then highlighted the history of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, with special emphasis on the significant role that Ellsworth continues to play in projecting strategic airpower around the globe. He recognized Col. David Doss, the outgoing 28th BW commander, for all the base accomplished during his two-year term, then turned his attention to Sheffield.

“Colonel Sheffield is no stranger to the B-1, and he is very familiar with the combat mission of this wing,” Weatherington said. “He possesses the character, self-discipline and compassion needed to lead Airmen to places they never could have imagined.”

He added that we face a challenging future in an era of great power competition and a period in which the demand for bombers is higher than ever.  He affirmed that Sheffield and Ellsworth are up to the task.

“I am confident you will be the difference maker for this wing,” Weatherington said. “Lead this team well and fly safe. I can’t wait to see what you will achieve.”

Sheffield comes to Ellsworth from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, where he served as the 36th Operations Group commander. He is a command pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours and 1,125 combat hours, and he has served in a variety of B-1 operational assignments including previous stints at Ellsworth. From April 2014 to March 2016 he commanded the 37th Bomb Squadron and led the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron on two deployments to Southwest Asia.

“It is truly an honor and privilege to be back at Ellsworth to lead the Raiders of the 28th Bomb Wing,” Sheffield said. “In the five years I have been away from the base I have seen and followed the tremendous impacts the 28th Bomb Wing has had on the global stage, such as multiple Bomber Task Force operations to various areas of responsibility, that reaffirmed Ellsworth is ready to provide combat airpower – anytime, anywhere – even during the challenges of a global pandemic. That’s impressive.”

Sheffield, the 44th commander at Ellsworth, said he is devoted to meeting the needs of all those serving at the base.  

“Ellsworth has a rich and storied history,” he said. “Time and again our dedicated Airmen have worked tirelessly to execute our mission and answer our nation’s call. I very much look forward to serving with the high caliber individuals who make up our ranks, and am committed to providing them and their families with the support and leadership they need to further our history and ensure we are able to accomplish the mission now and in the future.”

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