Col. Mike Leonas takes command of the 442d Fighter Wing Published Nov. 15, 2023 By Master Sgt. Bob Jennings 442d Fighter Wing Public Affairs WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Col. Mike Leonas took command of the 442d Fighter Wing from Brig. Gen. Steve Nester November 4, 2023, in a ceremony in the 5-Bay hangar here. Leonas first joined the wing in 2005 as the chief of standards and evaluation for the 442d Operations Group and has since served as the 303d Fighter Squadron commander, 442 OG deputy commander, 442 OG commander, and 442 FW deputy commander before taking command of the wing. In addition to deploying multiple times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Leonas commanded a Reserve-led Air Expeditionary Wing for Exercise Patriot Fury in Peru. He is a command pilot with more than 5,500 hours in the A-10, T-37, T-3A, and OA-10; including more than 785 combat hours. Nester will be moving on to be the mobilization assistant to the commander of the 1st Air Force at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.