12/02/05 — Fallin takes job as 916th's new commander

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Fallin takes job as 916th's new commander

By Turner Walston
Published in News on December 2, 2005 1:45 PM

The 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base has a new vice commander.

Col. Philip S. Fallin will replace outgoing Vice Commander Col. J.P. Hall, who will serve as a special assistant to the commander before retiring in about a year.

Fallin, 46, most recently served as the vice commander of the 916th Operations Group.

And he is no stranger to Seymour Johnson.

Fallin has been at Seymour Johnson since 1989, working his way up from KC-10 instructor to flight commander. After that, he was appoined vice wing commander before assuming his new post.

Prior to arriving in Goldsboro, Fallin served at bases in Louisiana, Mississippi and Japan.

"It's pretty amazing how fast time flies," Fallin said. "You turn around one day and you're a captain flying with a basic crew of four people around Europe or Asia. Next thing you know, you're the vice wing commander. It goes that fast. It's amazing."

After nearly 16 years at Seymour Johnson, Fallin said, "I would not work anywhere else."

He said he has had other opportunities to move elsewhere, but chose to stay at Seymour Johnson. Even when the 916th transitioned from KC-10 to KC-135 aircraft in the mid-1990s, Fallin said he decided to remain here.

"Staying here in North Carolina was much more important than following an airplane," he said. "There were more opportunities, but this was my first choice."

Fallin said his new role expands his responsibilities "eight-fold." As vice commander of the Operations Group, he and the rest of the staff were responsible only for the flightline. Now, Fallin will assist Wing Commander Col. Paul Sykes in running the entire wing.

"That encompasses everything from personnel issues to civil engineering, maintenance and everything we have," he said.

He said he is ready for the challenge.

"It's an incredible opportunity," Fallin said. "It's something I've worked a long time to get."

As a traditional reservist, Fallin will work at Seymour Johnson approximately 15 days a month, he said. Outside of the 916th, he is a pilot for Delta Airlines.

Fallin is a 1981 graduate of Methodist College in Fayetteville. His wife, Debbie, is a music teacher at St. Mary Catholic School. The couple has three daughters, Emily, Erin and Sara.