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NEWS | July 16, 2022

Marine Aircraft Group 49 holds showstopping Change of Command ceremony

By Senior Airman Matt Porter 87th Air Base Wing

The U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Aircraft Group 49 held a change of command ceremony on 16 July, 2022, at Army Support Activity Fort Dix.

U.S. Marine Corps. Col. Russell Rybka assumed command of MAG 49 from U.S. Marine Corps. Col. Lonnie Cobb, Marine Aircraft Group 49 commander.

“To the Marines of this group, thank you for your unwavering commitment to excellence,” said Cobb. “To Col. Rybka, they are poised to be taken to the next step and I'm excited to read reports of their continued improvements and success at my next assignment.”

Cobb, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, has amassed over 2500 flight hours in 14 different types of aircraft, more than 800 of which are combat flight hours.

“Col. Cobb, you’re leaving behind an incredible legacy here,” said Rybka. “This was the easiest turnover I’ve ever had, and I look forward to leading these marines and getting to know our joint partners here.”

Rybka, a seasoned joint service Commander from the U.S. European Command, has over 2500 mishap-free flight hours in the AH-1W Cobra, with nearly 700 being combat flight hours.

“Lonnie has served this group well, but we need his leadership now at the Pentagon,” said Brig. Gen. Leonard Anderson, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing commander. “Russell, I am confident that you possess more than enough of the necessary leadership skills and experience required to excel as Commander and to prepare these marines for the road ahead.”