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NEWS | Aug. 9, 2023

Lange to succeed Batterton as commander of 192nd Wing

By Cotton Puryear | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Col. Brock E. Lange will succeed Col. Christopher G. Batterton as commander of the Virginia Air National Guard’s 192nd  Wing, according to an announcement made July 27, 2023, by Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the Adjutant General of Virginia. A change of command ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 9 at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. “Both Col. Lange and Col. Batterton have consistently demonstrated their outstanding professionalism and the ability to lead, influence and achieve at the highest levels,” Ring wrote in the announcement. “I have full confidence in their continued pursuit of excellence as they take on the challenges of their new assignments.” Lange currently serves as the director of the Chief’s Action Group in the office of the Chief of National Guard Bureau. His previous assignments include commander of the 185th Cyberspace Operations Squadron and the 192nd Operations Group. After command, Batterton will serve as the J5 Director of Strategic Plans and Policy on the Virginia National Guard Joint Staff as a drill status Guardsman. According to the announcement, Batterton led the 192nd Wing through multiple challenges, mobilizations and deployments supporting air dominance, civil engineering, airbase defense and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance as well as domestic operations and National Guard Civil Support missions, including support to the pandemic and mobilization to assist with security operations in the U.S. Capitol. In her message to the Virginia Air National Guard, Brig. Gen. Catherine Jumper, commander of the Virginia Air National Guard, congratulated Lange and welcomed him back to the 192nd after his tour at National Guard Bureau. She also thanked Batterton for his leadership of the 192nd Wing since December 2020. “He has guided and led the 192nd Wing with distinction, resulting in numerous notable accomplishments,” she wrote. Jumper said that under Batterton’s leadership, the VaANG supported mobilizations and deployments, and he renewed the 192nd’s focus on our Commander’s Inspection Management Board process that ensured the wing missions were graded as “effective” during the 2022 Capstone Unit Effectiveness Inspection. “His ability to develop mission partner relationships ensured VaANG participation with Immediate Response Forces to meet no-notice Secretary of Defense taskings for Air Dominance deployments,” she said. She described Batterton as “the epitome of a servant leader who demonstrates the Air Force core values daily,” and said the VaANG is better thanks to his leadership. Lange was commissioned in 2002 after graduating from the University of Colorado as a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He earned his pilot wings at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, and went on to fly the F-15C/D at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Following that assignment, he transitioned to the F-22 and has held a variety of flying assignments at the squadron and group level, including as the Chief of Standardization and Evaluation in the 1st Fighter Wing. In August 2013, Lange transitioned to the Virginia Air National Guard's 149th Fighter Squadron as a drill status Guardsman. Lange has commanded at the squadron and group level, and prior to his current assignment, he served as the Chief of Programs for the Air National Guard, responsible for annual programming of $13 billion to organize, train and equip the primary combat reserve of the United States Air Force. Lange is an F-22 Evaluator Pilot with more than 1,600 hours in fighter aircraft including 110 hours of combat time in the F-22. In his civilian capacity, Lange is a first officer with a major airline. Batterton was commissioned in the Air Force in 1999 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and he earned his pilot wings in 2000 upon graduation from Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Following UPT, he attended the F-16 Basic Course and was assigned to the 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base in the Republic of Korea. Following Korea, he was assigned to the 79th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina where he upgraded to instructor pilot and participated in several temporary duty assignments and deployments.  In 2005, Batterton was selected for the F-22A and moved to the 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base. In April 2009, Batterton joined the Virginia Air National Guard’s 149th Fighter Squadron as a drill status Guardsman. He has served as a flight commander, wing chief of safety and 192nd Operations Support Squadron commander. He worked in industry since joining the VaANG in 2009 holding a variety of management and leadership positions, and he is a senior vice president for a defense services company. Batterton commanded the 192nd Intelligence Squadron and 192nd Operations Group, and he later served as the vice commander of the 192d Wing where he was responsible for ensuring the readiness of more than 1,300 Airmen in the execution of federal and state missions across a full spectrum of operations. Batterton is a command pilot with more than 2,000 hours in fighter aircraft, including leading missions in multiple CONUS and OCONUS exercises and participating in deployments to include Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

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