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NEWS | July 13, 2018

437th AW welcomes new commander

By Airman 1st Class Joshua R. Maund 628th Public Affairs

The 437th Airlift Wing conducted a change of command ceremony July 12, 2018, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

Col. Clinton R. ZumBrunnen assumed command of the 437th AW from Col. Jimmy Canlas.


The 437th AW is tasked with operating and maintaining the largest fleet of C-17 Globemaster IIIs, valued over $10 billion, through a workforce comprised of 3,400 military and civilian personnel. The wing supports Department of Defense tactical airdrop, worldwide airlift and aeromedical evacuation support. Additionally, the wing oversees a budget of $44.7 million in support of Joint Base Charleston's flying activities.


“It is an honor to serve alongside both of these colonels,” said Lt. Gen. GI Tuck, 18th Air Force commander. “I am proud of the accomplishments that Col. ZumBrunnen has achieved throughout his career. He is the right person to lead this wing.”


ZumBrunnen is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours. Prior to his arrival at JB Charleston, he commanded the 305th Operations Group at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. and served as a strategist on the Chairman’s Action Group for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He spent two years living in Israel as part of the Olmsted Scholar Program and is a 1998 distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy.


“It’s an incredible honor to take command of the 437th,” said ZumBrunnen. “It’s a privilege to be a leader who has influence over deciding where people go, what they do and achieving what people want to achieve within the Air Force.”


ZumBrunnen was stationed here earlier in his career as a flight instructor and evaluator. In addition to training pilots, he also held various other aircrew flying assignments.


“I have been around the C-17 a lot during my time in the Air Force,” said ZumBrunnen. “My wife was actually a maintenance officer on C-17s, which I feel gives me an edge on the maintenance side.”


Zumbrunnen has commanded at squadron and group levels. The 437th will be his first tour as a wing-level commander.


“The most important part of being a commander, from what I have learned, is listening,” said Zumbrunnen. “Almost every great change we implemented at McGuire was an idea that came from someone else.”


The 437th AW flew 20,000 sorties, transported 209,000 tons of cargo and delivered 138,000 passengers. The wing also supported 52,000 jumps from paratroopers in the U.S. Army and allies across the globe. The wing accounted for a third of Air Mobility Command’s strategic airlift operations during Canlas’s time as commander.


“The 437th is a great team to be a part of,” said Tuck. “It’s Airmen are key to rapid global mobility and the mission of Air Mobility Command.”


At the conclusion of the ceremony, Col. Canlas was awarded a Legion of Merit award for his distinguished leadership of the 437th AW. The Airmen of the wing then ushered in their new leader, ZumBrunnen, with his first official salute as the new commander.


“The main message I would like to give to the Airmen of the 437th is simple,” said ZumBrunnen. “What we do here, and what we prepare to do here, matters to the rest of the world.”