Supervisors fete Klein as he departs as Travis base commanderJune 27 2018
By Todd R. Hansen
FAIRFIELD — The Solano County supervisors’ sendoff to Travis Air Force Base commander Col. John M. Klein included a salute to his wife.
“The spouses play a very important role . . . in the military,” Supervisor Jim Spering said Tuesday ahead of presenting Klein a resolution that recognized his two years of leadership at Travis.
Spering noted Anji Klein’s commitment to her own family through the rigors of a nomadic military life, plus what he described as “comprehensive and invaluable” service to the base and the community through her involvement in many civic efforts.
Klein will hand over his command of the 60th Air Mobility Wing July 10 to Col. Ethan Griffin, who is commander of the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.
“(U)nder Colonel Klein’s leadership, the Travis team successfully and safely supported numerous military operations in support of national priorities, such as the war in Iraq and Syria, and provided humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of a multitude of natural disasters, including hurricanes Irma and Maria and the wildfires in Northern California. This assistance included transporting critical lifesaving supplies and contingency response personnel to difficult-to-access areas in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and serving as the staging base for the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the (2017) wildfires,” the county resolution states.
“. . . Colonel Klein recognized the importance of maintaining strong, effective relations with the local community, and actively worked with local civic leaders and agencies to ensure the sustainability of current and future operations at Travis . . . (and) Colonel Klein’s team re-energized the Community Partnership Program, strengthening local relations while generating a number of win-win agreements. This was highlighted by establishing the True North preventive law initiative – a peer mentoring program in partnership with the California Medical Facility, Vacaville, to help young airmen make better decisions during their day-to-day lives.”
Klein, who previously served as the 60th Air Mobility Wing vice commander and as commander of the 573rd Global Support Squadron at Travis in two prior assignments, thanked the board, but said the accomplishments were not his alone.
“We are very humbled by all of this. And all of those things you mentioned, I didn’t do that,” Klein said. “We have a special team out at Travis.”
Klein is a 1994 graduate of the Air Force Academy, and in addition to his extensive command pilot resume, which includes 340 combat hours, he held a host of command positions that included the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing.
Klein’s next assignment is a one-year military strategist fellowship in the state of New York, the base Public Affairs Office reports.