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Col. Joseph Rizzuto, right, accepts the guidon and command of the 306th Flying Training Group from Col. Gerald Goodfellow, 12th Flying Training Wing commander, during a change of command ceremony July 9. Rizzuto replaces Col. Christopher Plamp, who is headed to the NATO Combined Air Operations Center in Uedem, Germany, where he will be the Director of Operations and Commander of the U.S. Element there. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Mike Kaplan)
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’92 grad takes command of Academy flying operations

Posted 7/12/2012   Updated 7/12/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Gino Mattorano
Air Force Academy Public Affairs


7/12/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- A fighter pilot and 1992 Air Force Academy graduate took command of the 306th Flying Training Group in a change of command ceremony Monday at the airfield.

Col. Joseph Rizzuto replaces Col. Christopher Plamp, who is headed to the NATO Combined Air Operations Center in Uedem, Germany, where he will be the Director of Operations and Commander of the U.S. Element there.

Rizzuto comes to the Academy from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Military Operational Arts.

Prior to attending the Air War College, Rizzuto was assigned to Moody AFB, Ga., where he initially served as the 23rd Wing Chief of Safety and deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, flying A-10C combat missions in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM. From 2009 to 2011 he also served as the 23rd Operations Support Squadron commander.

Before his assignment at Moody, the colonel was the 51st Fighter Wing Director of Staff and 51st Operations Support Squadron Director of Operations at Osan Air Base, South Korea.

He is a command pilot with more than 2,700 flight hours in the A-10 Warthog and C-130 Hercules. Rizzuto also has 600 hours flying the RQ-1 Predator and RQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft.

Rizzuto has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Mechanics from the Academy, a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from the University of Anchorage, Alaska, and a Master of Science degree in Military Operational Arts from the Air Command and Staff College.

His major awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal, and the Aerial Achievement Medal with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters.



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