113th Wing Welcomes New Commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Daira Jackson
  • D.C. Air National Guard

The 113th Wing, District of Columbia Air National Guard, held a change of command ceremony to officially transfer command and leadership of the wing from U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Shannon D. Smith, outgoing commander, to U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew R. McDonough, at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, May 18, 2024.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John C. Andonie led the opening remarks by thanking distinguished guests, 113th Wing leaders and airmen, and their families and guests, for their attendance.

Andonie was proud of the 113th Wing’s accomplishments, missions, and diplomatic engagement.  

“The wing conducts more alert missions than any other fighter wing than all the other fighter wings in the Air Force combined,” Andonie said. “All of you airmen in the back—that accomplishment—every one of you support and execute these missions to higher standards of excellence. And I am proud of all of you for that.”

Andonie acknowledged Smith’s leadership and expertise. 

“We're very blessed that he came to us and served as a leader of this great organization. I am in awe,” Andonie said. “Not only as a proven combat aviator but also as an Air Force officer—you have improved the combat readiness of this formation, across all parts of it. We will miss you.”

Smith shared his thoughts on leadership and service in the Air National Guard.

“If I've learned anything, the team here at Joint Base Andrews is very much a part of what the Capital Guardians accomplish every day,” Smith said. “Surround yourself with someone who challenges you to be better…it will help you lead and serve.”

“If you focus on the people, then the mission will follow,” Smith continued. “If we, as leaders, create an environment where every airman feels a sense of belonging; where every airman feels valued and truly is trusted; where we encourage aligned empowerment, the essence of mission command; where courage and effort are rewarded with opportunity and growth; and where it is a privilege to be held accountable to high standards and expectations with moments of grace and empathy, then the mission will follow.”

Smith then relinquished command of the 113th Wing to McDonough.

“I'll just say that today can be summarized in one word, and that's gratitude,” McDonough said. 

McDonough was grateful to have the opportunity to continue to lead and serve the Wing and considered it a privilege.

“We have an incredible leadership team. We have incredible airmen, and I'm very blessed and honored to be a part of that. God has continued to bless me in my life and for that, I'm forever grateful. I pray for our strength to lead confidently, and that He blesses the Capitol Guardians, our families, and our American way of life. Thank you very much.”
Smith said that he relinquished command with a full heart and has full confidence that the Wing is in good hands, the airmen are in good hands, and that most certainly, the mission will follow.

“I believe I have shared with all of you that my values are faith and courage,” Smith said. “I choose faith over fear knowing that God has a plan. And I choose courage over comfort, knowing I'm not alone in this journey. Faith and courage led Lori and me here. And faith and courage hold us together as a Capital Guardian family. From Lori and I, thank you for accepting us for trusting the process, and for doing the work of serving this nation and our district. God bless this nation, the D.C. National Guard, and the 113th Wing. 

“Guardian pride!” Smith said.

“Second to none!” the audience replied.