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THE COMMANDER                                                    DATE: August 4, 2017
Anthony J. (Tony) Asterita
49th F.I.S. (1960 - 1963)

(PHOTO) Greetings 49ers. And I hope you are all well and enjoying the days of summer. There are a few noteworthy events that have taken place since the last newsletter. First of all, the 49th FTS has a new commander. In June, Lt Col “Clarence” Macasek took over the squadron.  He’s been active in the squadron for 4 years, already. You may even have met last year at the reunion in Columbus.  Our good friend, the departing commander, Lt Col Dave Bickerstaff "Needa" will remain at Columbus AFB until the fall and assist in the transition. We appreciate his kind words of departure:
"............... it’s been a pleasure to work with you and the FSA.  I appreciate keeping the connections between our past and our present.  I also appreciate the Frank J. Mullinax contribution and how we determined an equitable way to divvy out that money to the next several years of Black Knight students. I’ll stick around Columbus until the fall then I’ll deploy, so I don’t know that I’ll get to meet you any time soon, but perhaps somewhere down the line.  In the meantime, Clarence will work with Flex to decide how many Black Knights may join in Rome (hopefully with a couple jets ..............)".Take care! Needa.
We wish Needa all the best for a continued exciting and rewarding career and look forward to working with Lt Col Macesak. On a similar note, Col. Neil "Sprout" Oakden, a life member of the Association & former commander of the 49th at Columbus from 2012-2014, officially retires 1 Aug after serving 25 years. All the very best to you Niel.
Our secretary Christine Wallace has completed the association roster that has all member information in a concise format and is keeping it current. Should any member wish to receive a copy, just let me know and we'll get one off to you.  

The hot topic for today is our upcoming reunion in Rome, New York from 14 to 17 September. Please fill out the RSVP form in this newsletter and get it off to our Treasurer, John Jannazo. Note: Hotel accommodations and payments should be made directly with the hotel by phone. Call The Beeches Inn (direct) at 315-336-1775 or 800-491-6126. To ensure the group rate, mention 49th Squadron Association and make the reservation prior to August 14, 2017.

This promises to be a great reunion with the wonderful New York State venue and with some unique activities. These are outlined in the reunion schedule, also contained within this newsletter. Rome is the site of ex-Griffiss AFB and our squadron's entire F-101B / F-106A experience (1959 to 1987). 
Take good care 49ers. I very much look forward to seeing you at our 2017 reunion. Meanwhile if you have any suggestions to improve our operations, we're open' 24/7. God bless the USA.