Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor and pay tribute to an individual and patriot whose dedication and contributions to his country and the military community of March Air Reserve Base, March ARB, in Riverside, CA, are exceptional. March ARB has been fortunate to have dynamic and dedicated leaders who willingly and unselfishly give their time and talent and make their communities a better place to live and work. Colonel Timothy Wrighton is one of these individuals. On June 6, 2003, he will be honored at a farewell celebration and dinner.
After completing his education at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, and receiving a degree in engineering Tim completed his undergraduate pilot training in 1976 and in 1977 he became a First Lieutenant. Tim served as a C-141 pilot for the 53rd Military Airlift Squadron out of Norton Air Force Base in California from 1976 to 1982 during which time he was promoted to Captain. In 1984, he was assigned as the chief pilot for the 728th Military Airlift Squadron. Three years later he was promoted to Major and was assigned as the chief of wing standardization/evaluation for the 445th Airlift Wing at Norton and would later become assistant deputy commander for operations. Over the next 13 years he would be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and then Colonel. Since 2002 he has been the Commander of the 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base. Col. Wrighton has logged over 7,800 flight hours in a variety of aircraft including the C-141 A/B, KC-10, and KC-135R.
Col. Wrighton has received numerous awards throughout his distinguished career including: Legion of Merit; Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters; Air Medal; Aerial Achievement Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal; Air Force Achievement Medal; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf clusters; National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Southwest Asia Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters; Armed Forces Reserve Medal; Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon; Air Force Training Ribbon; and the Kuwait Liberation Medal from the Saudi Arabian Government.
Col. Wrighton is also a life member and Chapter President of the Reserve Officers' Association, a Life Member of the Airlift/Tanker Association, Life Member of the AFA, a Life Member of the VFW and a Member of Daedalians.
Col. Wrighton's tireless commitment to service has contributed immensely to the betterment of the country and the community of Riverside, CA. I am proud to call him a fellow community member, American and friend. I know that many community members are grateful for his patriotic service and salute him.
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