882nd TRG welcomes Dezell as new commander

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The 882nd Training Group welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony Monday in Hangar 1045. 

Col. Nancy Dezell accepted command of the 882nd TRG from departing Col. Kimberly Siniscalchi. 

During her command, Colonel Siniscalchi has increased the usage of the medical readiness site by more than 60 percent, racked up 46 outstanding or excellent ratings during Sheppard's Operational Readiness Inspection, and chiseled the 50 percent washout rate in the biomedical equipment course down to 15 percent. She also supported Hurricane Katrina victims by deploying 12 of her troops during the crisis. 

The group has brought in nine Air Force-level and 40 major command-level awards.
82nd Training Wing commander Brig. Gen. James Whitmore noted these feats in his speech during the ceremony. 

"Kim's the kind of leader I want on my team," he said. 

Commenting on the more than 20 distinguished visitor visits she's handled or been a part of, he said, "If I wanted to give a good impression, I'd pick her to help out." 

Colonel Siniscalchi relinquished command to Colonel Dezell, with some tears, a bittersweet smile and heartfelt words. 

"It's hard to say goodbye to an outstanding wing, an outstanding group and an outstanding community," she said. 

But she did so with grace, recognizing the accomplishments of her troops. In two years, the 882nd TRG has trained more than 42,000 Airmen, Soldiers, and Sailors. 

"What you do cannot be measured by a metric. When (the ones you trained) are deployed, and they can't take caring for amputee trauma victim," she said with a tear choking her words, "what they learned here gives them the morale and courage in those trying times." 

In a final farewell, Soldiers sang the Army song, Sailors sang the Navy song and Airmen sang the Air Force song before Colonel Dezell took the stage to speak. 

She greeted the crowd by expressing how it is a tremendous honor and privilege to be so warmly welcomed. 

She quoted Julius Ceasar, "Without training, they lack knowledge. Without knowledge, they lack confidence. Without confidence, they lack victory," before explaining her desire to be involved with training since 1986. 

She let her troops know they will always be a priority, stating her credo "mission first, people always" a few times throughout her speech. 

Colonel Dezell came from Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C., where she was the senior program director of clinical quality and health care operations in the Office of the Surgeon General. 

Her 20-year career had led her to command three organization's at the flight and squadron levels, with experience as an inspector general and eight leadership positions. 

Colonel Dezell's major awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star device and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.