HILL AIR FORCE BASE When Brig. Gen. Gary Batinich gives up command today of Hill's 419th Fighter Wing, he'll be ending a 21-year stint with the 419th that began in 1987 when he was a captain. Batinich, originally from Minnesota, is moving as mobilization assistant to the director of Air Combat Command Air and Space Operations at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
During a ceremony today at Hill, he will relinquish command to Col. Walter "Buck" Sams, who will take over control of nearly 1,200 personnel assigned to Utah's only Air Force reserve unit. The Georgia native was commander of the 307th Fighter Squadron at Langley.
Both men have each logged more than 3,000 miles flying F-16s.