Col. Michael LoForti Assumes Command of 920th Operations Group at Patrick Air Force Base

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Col. Kurt Matthews officiated the ceremony

Col. Kurt Matthews (right), 920th Rescue Wing commander, hands the 920th Operations Group guidon to Col. Michael Loforti, during an assumption of command ceremony, June 3, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jared Trimarchi)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA • PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA – More than 100 Airmen, families and friends witnessed Col. Michael Loforti assume command of the 920th Operations Group, here June 3, during a ceremony.

The 920th OG employs HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and HC-130P/N King aircraft to conduct civil and combat rescue operations around the world. The group also supports range clearing operations for the 45th Space Wing’s rocket launches. As the group commander, Loforti will also oversee more than 350 citizen Airmen.

Loforti earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Arizona State University in 1991 and has flown F-16, KC-135, C-130 and AT-38 aircraft since graduating flight school in 1997. His previous assignment was at the Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, as the chief of flight standards division/personnel recovery and special operations division. He has more than 2,700 flight hours in an F-16.

Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th RQW commander, officiated the ceremony and commented on Loforti’s accomplishments.

“After interviewing Col. Loforti, I knew he would be the perfect pick to lead the men and women of the 920th Operations Group,” Matthews said. “We need a commander who understands our mission, and as a fighter pilot, he grasps the impact of combat-search-and-rescue and the capabilities of our citizen Airmen.”

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After the passing of the unit’s guidon, a symbolic representation of a change in command, Loforti greeted his new group.

“There are two types of warriors in the United States Air Force: ‘rescuees’ and rescuers,” Loforti said. “It is an honor, after all this time as a ‘rescuee,’ to be a part of the rescue community. Thank you for the many sacrifices and services you have provided to the nation.”

Loforti said he looks forward to continue the mission and the many accomplishments the Airmen of the 920th OG will be a part of.

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