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Flanked by three special operations aircraft, an audience of citizen commandos and well-wishers at Duke Field in Okaloosa County, Fla. welcomed the 919th Special Operations Group’s first female commander to the family last week.

Col. Regina Sabric accepted the guidon from Col. James Phillips, the 919th Special Operations Wing commander, officially taking command of her new group.

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Col. Regina Sabric addresses her new group at the 919th Special Operations Group’s change of command ceremony June 12 at Duke Field, Fla. (Sam King/Special to The Pulse)

“If all the great things I heard about her are true, I know I made the right decision choosing Colonel Sabric as the new commander,” said Phillips. “I look forward to great things from her.”

Sabric, a 20-year veteran and senior pilot, took the command after serving at Headquarters Air Force at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

“Commanding this group is an opportunity of a lifetime and there’s no other place I’d rather be,” said the new colonel. “I look forward to working with all of you and continuing to support the successful total force relationships and missions we have here. I’m honored and humbled to be the new group commander.”

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Col. James Phillips, the 919th Special Operations Wing commander, stands with the outgoing and incoming commanders at the 919th Special Operations Group’s change of command ceremony June 12 at Duke Field, Fla. (Sam King/Special to The Pulse)

The Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania native graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science-Aerospace Engineering before commissioning in the Air Force in 1996.

Col. Kurt Matthews relinquished command to take command of the 920th Operations Group at Patrick AFB.

“I feel I’ve left the SOG better than I found it and I expect it to reach even greater heights under Colonel Sabric’s leadership,” said Matthews.

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