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New commander assumes command of 45th Mission Support Group

Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton, 45th Space Wing commander, passes the 45th Mission Support Group guidon to its new commander, Col. Patridk Donley, during a change of command ceremony July 6. Colonel Donley is  a recent graduate of the U.S. Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Ala. (Photo by Matthew Jurgens)

Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton, 45th Space Wing commander, passes the 45th Mission Support Group guidon to its new commander, Col. Patridk Donley, during a change of command ceremony July 6. Colonel Donley is a recent graduate of the U.S. Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Ala. (Photo by Matthew Jurgens)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Colonel Patrick H. Donley, a recent graduate of the U.S. Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Ala., assumed command of the 45th Mission Support Group in a ceremony July 6.

He succeeds Col. Loretta Kelemen who retired.

Prior to his assignment at Maxwell, Colonel Donley served as assistant professor and deputy department head for the Department of Military and Strategic Studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy. From May 2009 to May 2010, the colonel deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan as the embedded adviser to the Afghan Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development and as the rural development liaison to the commander of the International Security Assistance Force.

Colonel Donley's command experience includes the 30th Security Forces Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, Calif., and the 460thh Security Forces Squadron at Buckley AFB, Colo. Additionally, he was previously appointed as the Air Force security lead for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program during his tour in the Security Forces Division, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo. In this capacity, he was responsible for resolving manpower requirements and associated security issues necessary to achieve GMD initial operational capability in the United States.

Before his assignment at Peterson AFB in 2003, Colonel Donley studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science in London, United Kingdom, where he earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Relations. Previous responsibilities include numerous Security Forces leadership positions in the CONUS, Europe and the Middle East. Colonel Donley is a 1991 distinguished graduate from the United States Air Force Academy.

His decorations include the Bronze Star, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters and Air Force Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters.