DVIDS – News – Otto assumes command of 123rd Medical Group

Col. Hans F. Otto assumed command of the 123rd Medical Group in a ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base here Sept. 11, replacing Col. Michael A. Cooper, who is retiring.

Otto, a doctor and 25-year military veteran, last served as commanding officer of the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 445th Aerospace Medicine Squadron at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The 445th supports more than 2,000 personnel from two wings and several geographically separated units.

Colonel Bruce Bancroft, commander of the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing, welcomed Otto to the base, calling him an outstanding leader.

“Col. Otto brings an extremely impressive resume to the stage today,” Bancroft told the audience. “From chief of internal medicine at Osan Air Base, South Korea, to medical director at Air Base from Spangdahlem, Germany; from a fellowship at Wilford Hall, to chief of aerospace medicine at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Colonel Otto brings a wealth of experience to this Wing.

“He made a difference on every mission. And as we like to say here, he has the metal to prove it: Doctor of the Year, Best Specialty Clinic of the Year, Primary Care Clinic of the Year, Squadron of the Year, to name a few. only a few.

“Hans, in the short time that I have known you, I already know that you attribute all these honors to the incredible Airmen in your charge,” continued Bancroft. “But these awards don’t happen without strong leadership. The leadership you bring to the table and the leadership you have inspired in your teams is evident. I look forward to seeing the heights we reach for our medical group in the years to come.

Cooper, who is resigning after a military career spanning more than three decades, called Otto “a man of tremendous character.”

“Those of you who have ever had the chance to know him can see that his resume is absolutely impeccable,” Cooper said. “He’s someone I’ve shared a friendship with for 11 years now, from the time we served together in the 445th. I had to have someone with his character and with his abilities so that I could hand me over (order) today.

“I’m so proud to be able to hand you this handlebar today, Colonel Otto. Good speed. I wish you the best as you take this unit to the next level.

Cooper, who served as commander of the 123rd Medical Group since 2014, then handed over the leadership of the group to Bancroft, who bestowed it on Otto, formally acknowledging the transfer of power.

Otto expressed his gratitude to his family for their support and to Cooper for his decades of senior leadership.

“I would like to thank you for your tireless work over the past 30 years and for the great example you have set,” Otto said, speaking directly to Cooper.

For the Airmen of the 123rd Medical Group, Otto promised a clear path forward – focused on mission achievement and personnel development.

“As the new commander, I am honored by the caliber of the people here – the warriors I can keep company with. Your commitment to this Wing as well as to the medical group is impressive. You embody these core Air values Integrity strength first, excellence in everything you do and service before yourself.

“I’m here to give you direction, to tell you my commander’s intent, and then to remove the obstacles that prevent you from achieving those goals,” he said. “We will get there together, and we will focus on the commander’s priorities, (which are) threefold. We have a peacetime medical care mission. We have a wartime mission to be ready for the next fight – and it could be as soon as tomorrow. And we have a third priority to develop our Airmen.

“We will be focusing more on those over the coming weeks and months,” he added. “But for the rest of the day, I am proud and honored to be able to celebrate Colonel Cooper.”

Otto holds a BS in Biology from Wright State University, an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, and an MD from Ohio State University. He is certified in allergy/immunology.

The flight surgeon and physician received his commission in 1997 through the Health Professions Scholarship Program and served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve for the next four years while attending the ‘medicine School. After graduating in 2001, he entered active duty to begin a three-year internal medicine residency at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Throughout his career, Otto has held various positions leading primary and specialty care clinics, squadrons and deployed expeditionary groups.

In his civilian capacity, Otto is Medical Director of Clinical Operations, Partner, and Practicing Allergist/Immunologist in what is now the second largest Allergy/Immunology Group in the nation. He has been recognized annually by Cincinnati Magazine as one of the area’s “Top Doctors” since 2013.

The Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Medical Group is made up of more than 100 personnel who provide medical support to 1,200 Airmen here. The unit also provides combat support to Air Force units worldwide, as well as homeland defense and disaster response capabilities.

Date taken: 12.11.2022
Date posted: 12.11.2022 08:26
Story ID: 434920
Location: LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, USA

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