News>Feature - Meet the new 341st Security Forces Group commander
Col. David Lynch, 341st Security Forces Group commander, finishes up some paperwork in his office. Lynch joined Team Malmstrom on June 10 and looks forward to leading the defenders of Wing One. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton)
Col. David Lynch, 341st Security Forces Group commander, poses for a group photo with his wife, and their two daughters with their families. Pictured from left to right are: Scott, Jeannie, and Maxwell Simpson, 5 (front); Christine, Taylor Grace, 8 months, and Scott Leber; Leah, his wife (front); Lynch and Mila Simpson, 2. (U.S. Air Force Courtesy Photo)
by Airman 1st Class Cortney Paxton
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
8/2/2012 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- After 37 years climbing in both enlisted and officer ranks, Col. David Lynch joined Team Malmstrom this past June to serve as the 341st Security Forces Group commander.
"This is the best job a security forces officer can get," the colonel said, "group command with over 1,150 defenders and four great squadron commanders."
Lynch spent 14 years as an enlisted security policeman before applying for Officer Training School. He graduated OTS as a distinguished graduate and soon after being commissioned, he headed to Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., where he served his first officer position as a missile combat crew member for the 351st Strategic Missile Wing.
"I initially enlisted looking to do four years so I could get out, be 21-years-old and go be a state trooper - that was my plan, and obviously it changed," Lynch admitted. "I was progressing through the enlisted ranks and I just thought promotion to the officer corps was a natural continuation and I thought I could provide better for my family."
He also served as an executive officer and flight leader for the 509th Security Police Group at Whiteman before heading to Newark, N.J., where he was the New Jersey Institute of Technology assistant professor of aerospace studies in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program. His officer career led him to various places across the nation, including Delaware, Rhode Island, Virginia, Texas and Colorado, and overseas to the Philippines, where he met his wife 36 years ago, as well as Germany and Italy.
He's also had experience on the deployment end of a military career. He went overseas to Grenada in 1983 in support of Operation Urgent Fury and deployed to Camp Bucca, Iraq, in September 2005, as well as Joint Base Balad, Iraq, in January 2010.
"It's just a whole different environment I think," the commander said recalling his deployments. "One thing is everybody there is focused on the job regardless of what job the Airman is doing; they're all focused on why they're there. Everybody realizes that it needs to be all focus and no distractions."
Although his assignment at Malmstrom marks his first trip to Montana, leading is nothing new for Lynch. He has been the chief of the Antiterrorism Assessments Branch for the Office of the Special Assistant for Security Matters, chief of the Security Forces Division and Logistics, Installations and Mission Support directorate, and has held two positions as a squadron commander.
His career has been diverse in places and positions, but the most memorable parts of it so far has been the experiences with his wife Leah, and daughters, Christine, 33, and Jeannie, 35.
"Probably the most memorable parts are those family memories," Lynch said. "Coming back from Iraq for a weekend to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding was pretty significant. I left Iraq Thursday night and went back that Sunday night. I've been in a long time and have a lot of memories, but the ones I think that really matter at the end are the family ones."
Lynch and his wife plan to make their own memories here in Montana now that they're "empty nesters." This is their first time in the North Western part of the nation and they are looking forward to doing some exploring.
"We were excited about coming up here because we love the small town atmosphere," he said. "My wife and I travel a fair amount. We have not been up to this part of the country so we plan to explore Montana, Idaho, the Rockies as well as Canada."
As the 341st Security Forces Group commander, Lynch plans to reduce the security forces footprint by consolidating operations, improve facilities through renovation, and ensure the best equipment is available to his troops by maximizing the use of technology.
His diverse career and experience in the nuclear enterprise makes him a great addition to Wing One's leadership, but his hard work ethic, leadership expertise and dedication to his Airmen is what makes him the perfect addition to Team Malmstrom.
"It really isn't about me," the colonel said. "All I can do is the best for the young defenders out there. My job really is taking care of them and giving them what they need to do their job to make them successful. I never thought I could get this far, so it's my turn to help out. That's really what it's about."