DeSantis assumes command of 514th Ops Group

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  • By Story and photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

“Together, I want to build the 4th Air Force’s premier operations group. I want to do that by founding it on professionalism, respect for one another, and accountability.”

With that statement, Lt. Col. Michael A. DeSantis set his goal for his tenure as commander of the 514th Operations Group.

In a ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., DeSantis assumed command of the 514th Operations Group, August 6, 2017.
The 514th Operations Group, which is assigned to the 514th Air Mobility Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, is comprised of the 76th and 78th Air Refueling Squadrons, the 732nd Airlift Squadron, the 514th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, the 514th Operations Support Squadron, and the 514th Air Mobility Operations Squadron.

“I take great pride in being asked to lead such a storied and venerable unit,” said DeSantis.

Prior to assuming command, DeSantis was the deputy commander of the 512th Operations Group, 512th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Before that, he served with the 317th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

“My job is to keep the unit mission ready,” said DeSantis. “But I can’t do that without good Airmen.”

“What I have learned along the way is that organizations crave accountability. That means even, fair enforcement of standards that builds morale. A good example is fitness program standards: Not holding those who are failing to meet standards is unfair to those doing the hard work to pass.”

DeSantis is 1989 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. He began his military career in the Massachusetts Air National Guard and received his commission from the Academy of Military Science at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1991 with distinguished graduate honors.

He joined the Air Force Reserve in June 1996. DeSantis is a command pilot with more than 5,400 hours in the C-5 Galaxy and the C-17 Globemaster III.

“Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, once said ‘Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier,’” said DeSantis. “Attitude is my secret weapon, the key to intangible success.”