MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – Col. Matthew Brooks will turn over the command of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base to Col. Bradley Cochran  in a ceremony Thursday, May 31.

Brooks, who has been commander of the bomb wing since June 2016, will be retiring from the Air Force.

Cochran was vice commander of the 28th Bomb Wing working with B-1 bombers at Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, S.D.,  prior to his new assignment.

The commander of the 5th Bomb Wing, according to Air Force information, "ensures the wing's combat readiness and is responsible for operations involving the wing's fleet of B-52 bombers to provide deterrence and long-range strike capability for combatant command operations worldwide." 

During Brooks' two years at Minot, both of the wing's bomb squadrons – the 23rd Bomb Squadron and the 69th Bomb Squadron – deployed to the Middle East to fight ISIS. It was the first time in 12 years the Minot base's B-52s were deployed for combat in the Middle East.

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Cochran  also has served as commander of the 393rd Bomb Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri working with B-2 stealth bombers.