Change of command

CRTC under new command after ceremony

News Photo by Jason Ogden Left to right, Maj. Gen. Leonard Isabelle, assistant adjutant general and commander of the Michigan Air National Guard, hands a flag representing the command of the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center to Col. John Miner, while former Commander Col. Andrew Roberts looks on. The ceremony was held Tuesday at the center.

ALPENA — The Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center is under new command after a changing of command ceremony conducted Tuesday at the base.

U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Roberts handed command of the facility to Col. John Miner, who is the 12th commander of the facility. The event was attended by more than 100 personnel and members of the pub at the center.

Roberts was installed as CRTC commander in August 2014.

According to officials, Roberts will assume a new position as special projects adviser to the commander of the Michigan Air National Guard in Lansing.

Miner is a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and also holds an M.A. in business administration from Troy State University.

He spent 10 years on active duty before joining the National Guard in 2001 as a C-130 Hercules pilot at Selfridge Air National Guard Base and has been under several deployments. Most recently Miner served as commander of the 217th Air Operations Group in Battle Creek.

The event featured many guest speakers, including Maj. Gen. Gregory J. Vadnais, adjutant general and the director of Military and Veterans Affairs for Michigan.

He said under Roberts’ tenure as commander there was much promotion, due to hard work, of the more than 88 staff of the CRTC.

“I just want to thank you for what you do. I can’t tell you how much this helps the joint operations,” he told Roberts and the CRTC staff.

Maj. Gen. Leonard Isabelle, assistant adjutant general and commander of the Michigan Air National Guard, spoke on the importance of leadership in the success of the CRTC and praised Roberts for his ability to tell the story of the importance of the training center to the federal government when centers like the CRTC were shrinking in staff.

He also said Roberts was able to take the multi-branch, multi-country Operation Northern Strike exercise to the next level, helping prepare the country in a time of world insecurity.

“Having great ideas is one thing, getting the funding is another thing,” Isabelle said.

Isabelle also spoke highly of Miner and said with his executive experience Miner would do a fine job running the CRTC.

Roberts said he was told in his military career that a person should put their family first, their job second and their National Guard career third. He said eventually the National Guard became his family. He thanked Miner for taking on the task of command and told CRTC staff, both military and civilian, that there were many jobs done by the crew to get high marks and praise from the higher ups.

“I didn’t do any of that, you did that,” he said, urging the staff to maintain focus with the new commander.

This was followed by a symbolic passing of command, represented by passing the CRTC flag from Roberts to Isabelle, then on to Miner, who took official command of the facility.

Miner said he would continue the mission of training carried on by the former commanders, including specialized training like cyberwarfare.

“I am humbled at the opportunity to be the commander,” he said.

Jason Ogden can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Jason on Twitter @jo_alpenanews.