New 36th MSG commander takes charge, honors family's Guam legacy
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- A new commander recently took charge of the 36th Mission Support Group here, ready to live up to his great-grandfather's name, a U.S. Navy officer who commanded the USS Holland AS-3 in support of submarine missions throughout the Mariana Islands during World War II.
Col. John Dunks, 36th Mission Support Group commander, recently found out his great-grandfather, Navy Capt. C.Q. Wright, was sent to Guam to help with the buildup of Apra Harbor during the final years of WWII.
"When I first found out my great-grandfather was stationed here more than 60 years ago, I was shocked," Dunks said. "After I found out, it made me want to honor his legacy even more and continue what he started by contributing to our presence on Guam."
He went on to explain how the information his father provided to him about his great-grandfather being stationed on Guam is driving him to be a better commander at the 36th MSG.
"The days aren't long enough and there is no shortage of work to be done," Dunks said. "My main priority is that the Airmen have what they need to do the job safely and ensure they are rewarded for the great job that they do."
The commander admitted he thought before he arrived the base was going to be a sleepy island in the middle of the Pacific. However, after being here for nearly a month, he realized this assignment is more like a deployment with the high operations tempo and pace.
"We are the tip of the spear for the Pacific," Dunks said. "Anything and everything that's airpower will probably flow through Guam or Kadena Air Base, Japan. It's pretty impressive to see how important the mission is here."
Throughout his military career, he never imagined he would be a group commander, but now that he's here he wants to leave a lasting impression on the Airmen.
"Being here as a group commander I want to make sure I'm supporting the squadrons and they have everything they need to complete the mission," Dunks said. "I also want to influence the Airmen to be winners today. They can do this by completing the task at hand the right way for the right reasons and take care of themselves."
Dunks explained a lot of units have important roles in delivering airpower, but his organization's sole focus is to support the mission. The Airmen in his group need to know what they do affects other Airmen and how successful they are in their careers.
"While I'm stationed here I want to honor the position and make sure the Airmen find me worthy of being their leader," Dunks said. "Throughout my tour here, I see myself working with the Airmen instead of having them work for me. My job is to support them."