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Lt. Col. Emerson Assumes Command of storied 60th Fighter Squadron

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Amber Litteral
  • 33rd Fighter Wing


The 60th Fighter Squadron welcomed its first commander since the August reactivation in an assumption of command ceremony Oct. 29, 2021, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.


Lt. Col. Michael Emerson assumed command before the presiding officer, Col. Byron Pompa, 33rd Operations Group commander.


“We will see one of the most talented officers I have had the opportunity to work with in my 22 years of service assume command of the 60th to carry on the tradition of integrity, service, excellence and mission focus the Fighting Crows are known for,” said Pompa.


Emerson transitioned to the 60th FS after previously serving as the Director of Staff at the 33rd Fighter Wing.


Prior to that, he served as Deputy Branch Chief, Plans and Operations Division, United States Central Command, MacDill AFB, Florida, where he was responsible for developing and executing US-only and joint operational plans supporting combatant commanders worldwide. He also served as an instructor and evaluator in the F-15E Formal Training Unit, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.


“His combat leadership experience, coupled with his approachability and humility, make him the perfect choice for the challenges lying ahead,” said Pompa.


After taking command, Emerson addressed attendees.


“Thank you for making this a memorable moment for my family and a symbolic moment in history reactivating a prestigious squadron,” said Emerson.


First constituted in November 1940, the 60th FS was activated on Jan. 15, 1941, at Mitchel Field, New York. Assigned to the 33rd Fighter Group, the “Fighting Crows” entered World War II on Oct. 10, 1942. On Sept. 1, 1971, the 60th FS was reactivated at Eglin Air Force Base under the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing and transitioned to the F-15C Eagle in 1979. After 30 years of flying the F-15C, the 60th was deactivated on Jan. 1, 2009. On Aug. 20, 2021, the 60th FS was reactivated as the wing’s second F-35 squadron.


“What starts here will change the world,” said Emerson. “We’ve reached the merge, we’re co-altitude with slight turning room advantage, and the legacy we build today will shape generations of F-35 pilots to come.”


Directly after the assumption of command, the 60th Aircraft Maintenance Unit was also activated. The 60th AMU is the second AMU organized under the 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.