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New commander at the 927th Air Refueling Wing

The 927th Air Refueling Wing, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, has a new commander.

Col. Randy Bright turned over command of the Air Force Reserve refueling unit to Col. Frank Amodeo during a ceremony on base the morning of Sept. 11.

"Col. Bright has done a phenomenal job executing his duties as commander of the 927 Air Refueling Wing," 4th Air Force Reserve Commander Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy, who presided over the ceremony, said on the wing's website. "We're glad to be gaining him up at Air Force Reserve Command headquarters as we know and understand that he'll do an excellent job up there."

The 927th is a wing of approximately 950 personnel with three groups and two medical squadrons directly reporting to the wing commander. The 927th is also home to two reserve-specific missions at MacDill: the 45th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and the 927th Aeromedical Staging Squadron.

The wing shares 16 KC-135 aerial refueling tanker jets with the 6th Air Mobility Wing, the base host unit.

Prior to joining the 927th, Amodeo served as the wing commander of the 403rd Wing at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. During his time there, Amodeo oversaw approximately 1,400 and civilian personnel operating, maintaining and supporting assigned squadrons and flights in support of tactical airlift missions, weather reconnaissance and combat support.

"I am thankful for all of you honorary commanders, and others who are in attendance for coming today, I haven't met everyone but I am looking forward to building relationships and trust with all of you out there," Amodeo said.

Before leaving Tampa, Bright gave a final farewell to the community Friday night during the 69th Air Force Ball at the Tampa Downtown Marriott.

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The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System is a preferred place for future healthcare professionals to learn and train.

That's according to the results of a national Learners' Perception Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations.

The survey, according to a news release, has been designed by the VA to measure the perceptions of health profession trainees about their clinical training experiences at a VA medical center, hospital, or outpatient care center. It is voluntary, confidential and administered each year to trainees assigned to a rotation at a VA health care system center.

"We are very proud to once again be recognized as an education leader, a place where students and residents want to train, and also a place where trainees want to stay when their training is complete," Henry Park, deputy chief of staff and associate chief of staff of education at the Bay Pines system, said in a news release.

• • •

The Department of Defense has announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

1st Lt. Jeffrey D. Cooper, 25, of Mill Creek, Wash., died Sept. 10 in Kuwait, from a non-combat-related injury. The incident is under investigation.

Cooper was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Campbell, Ky.

There have been 2,347 U.S. troop deaths in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; 23 U.S. troop deaths and one civilian Department of Defense employee death in support of the followup, Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan; and 19 troop deaths and one civilian death in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the fight against the Islamic State.

Contact Howard Altman at haltman@tampabay.com or (813) 225-3112. Follow @haltman

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