Turasz takes command of 71st Operations Group

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  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Col. Erick Turasz assumed command of the 71st Operations Group during a ceremony held June 12 in the base auditorium.

Col. Robert Haas relinquished command of the unit. The ceremony was officiated by Col. Corey Simmons, the 71st Flying Training Wing commander.

Because attendance was limited due to COVID-19 precautions, the ceremony was livestreamed to the “Vance Air Force Base” Facebook page.

Prior to his current assignment here, Turasz was U.S. Special Operations Command Assessment director for fixed-wing aircraft at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Haas was reassigned as commander of the 80th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, home to the only internationally manned and operated pilot training program.

Turasz was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC at the University of Florida. He has been a squadron commander both in garrison and while deployed.

Turasz is a command pilot with more than 4,700 flying hours, including combat hours supporting operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Freedom’s Sentinel, and Inherent Resolve.

The 71st OG is responsible for all flying activities in the 71st Flying Training Wing as it conducts Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training for over 300 U.S. Air Force and allied student pilots each year. The group operates more than 200 aircraft, flies more than 55,000 sorties and logs more than 80,000 flying hours each year.