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Airmen First, Excellence Follows: Mammen to take command of Selfridge and 127th Wing

  • Published
  • By Spc. Samantha Hall
  • Michigan National Guard

Michigan Air National Guard Col. Rolf E. Mammen will take command of the 127th Wing and Selfridge Air National Guard Base in a ceremony scheduled to be held May 4, 2019, at Selfridge Air National Guard Base near Mount Clemens, Michigan. The command is currently held by Brig. Gen. John D. “Odie” Slocum, who is in his fifth year of the normally three-year command.

Mammen said he is excited to begin his new assignment and humbled by the responsibility it entails. 

“Now it all rests on me,” he said.

Mammen currently serves as the Director of Operations for the Michigan Air National Guard, where he advises the Commander of the Michigan Air National Guard on the warfighting capabilities and readiness of each organization within his command. He is also a command pilot with more than 3,000 flight hours and over 10,000 hours flown as a civilian pilot. Mammen deployed to Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, from 2004-2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom as the Operations Officer for the 738th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron. 

His previous command positions within Selfridge include Vice Commander of the 127th Wing and Commander of the 127th Maintenance Group. During his time in command, he has lived by the idea that he sits at the bottom of the organizational pyramid instead of the top, enabling his Airmen to take the spotlight for their achievements. 

“I’ve always tried to put the members of the organization first,” Mammen said. “The most important Airmen are the ones out there completing mission day-to-day.”

Slocum, a fighter pilot, flight instructor and motivational speaker said he implemented a similar philosophy through his career and command that “cares for people, values their inputs, and encourages innovation, leading to spectacular results.”

The Wing’s record shows that this assertion holds water. Under Slocum’s command, the 127th Wing was awarded the Carl A. Spaatz Award for their performance in 2015 by the National Guard Association of the United States, naming them the top flying unit in the Air National Guard. Just days later, the unit was presented with the Meritorious Unit Award by the Air Force for exceptional performance in combat and combat support missions of significant difficulty.

“These awards acknowledge the incredibly high level at which our Airmen have been performing,” Slocum said. “It is difficult to find adequate superlatives to describe the performance of our Selfridge Citizen-Airmen.” 

“I am confident the great advancements we’ve made within the 127th Wing and the strong community partnerships we’ve built will be carried forward by our outstanding airmen,” Slocum said.

Mammen asserts that Slocum has created a powerful connection between Selfridge to the surrounding community, a legacy he hopes to continue for the benefit of the men and women he will soon command.

“Thank you for your leadership for the past four-and-a-half years and for setting up the men and women of the Wing and Selfridge for the next phase,” Mammen said.

“I want the community to continue to see the 1700 members of Selfridge,” he continued. “There are a lot of really good people doing a lot of good work here.”