36th AS change of command May 31, 2024

Lt. Col. Matthew Buchholtz assumed command of the 36th Airlift Squadron from Lt. Col. Kira Coffey during a change of command ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 29, 2024.

Col. Jun Oh, 374th Operations Group commander, presided over the ceremony. The event was attended by family members of the incoming and outgoing commanders, members of the 36th AS, and representatives from across the base. 

“748 days ago, I took command and set a vision to aggressively deter our adversaries by leveraging tactical airlift power under one simple phrase, ‘Not Today,’” said Coffey.

During Coffey’s time as commander of the 36th AS, she commanded five flying deployments and played a role as a senior mentor and key facilitator for the Yokota University; a robust community program that reached over 1,500 joint students in its first year. Additionally, Coffey accumulated over 2,500 hours, flying in over 50 countries and achieving instructor pilot status for both the C-130J Super Hercules and McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender. The accomplishments made by Coffey while at Yokota have directly supported a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“To the men and women of the 36th AS, I am humbled to join your squadron and I look forward to serving you,” said Buchhotlz.

The 36th Airlift Squadron's steadfast commitment to excellence ensures that it remains a cornerstone of airpower projection in the Indo-Pacific, bolstering the United States’ enduring presence in the region.