MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The Combat Center’s Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group bid farewell to its first commanding officer and welcomed a new leader.
Col. Michael P. Killion, the outgoing MCTOG commanding officer, passed the colors on to Col. William F. Mullen III, the incoming commander, during a change of command ceremony at building 1707 April 3.
Killion, who came to MCTOG in June 2007, led the unit throughout its formation process. The command was officially at mission-capable capacity by March 2008, and has since held two successful Operations and Tactics Instructor Courses. The third course is scheduled for May 10.
The New Jersey helped bolster MCTOG’s capabilities with combat and contingency operations experience from past deployments to Bosnia-Herznagovnia, Liberia, Central African Republic, Cuba, Horn of Africa, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
Mullen comes to MCTOG from the Naval War College in Washington, D.C., and has participated in numerous other leadership courses around the world, including the Army’s Airborne and Ranger schools, the Marine Corps’ Summer Mountain Leader Course, and the Royal Marines’ Arctic Warfare School.
His vast wealth of knowledge from Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, counter-narcotics operations, and serving as both a plans and operations officer will also aide him in his new command.
“He [Killion] did a great job here and this organization is adding a great deal of value to the Marine Corps as a whole due to his efforts, and also the efforts of all the people working here,” Mullen said. “It is simply amazing to me what they have accomplished after starting from scratch during the summer of 2007.
“I am excited about the opportunity presented by taking over MCTOG and also at the prospects for the future of this organization,” he said.
MCTOG’s mission is to provide advanced and standardized training in Marine Air-Ground Task Force operations at the battalion and regimental levels, and to enhance the training and operational performance of Ground Combat Element units, according to White Letter 04-08, published by the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway May 27, 2008.
MCTOG personnel are responsible for training select Marines at the battalion and regimental levels through OTIC to combat the enemy – an enemy who has also adapted to the rigors of the contemporary battlefield.
Although Killion will be missed by the MCTOG staff, Mullen’s leadership will carry MCTOG into the future and help successfully train OTIC students.