19th MSG welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dana J. Cable
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Col. Bernard Smith, relinquished command of 19th Mission Support Group to Col. N’Keiba Estelle during a change of command ceremony at Little Rock Air Force Base Arkansas, June 29, 2023.

Col. Denny Davies, 19th Airlift Wing and installation commander, presided over the ceremony and the event was attended by family members of the incoming and outgoing commanders, members of the 19th MSG, and representatives from across Herk Nation.

During his tenure as the 19th MSG commander, Col. Smith commanded over 1,500 military and civilian personnel across six squadrons, supporting 12,000 military families, 68,000 retirees, and over $4 billion  in assets while managing numerous manning impacts due to deployments. Additionally, he recognized deficiencies in Airmen's ability to survive and operate in the future fight and led the activation of the Warrior Airmen Readiness Center, which significantly bolstered Airmen’s combat readiness skills and prepare them for the next challenge.

“Col. Smith, your dedication, vision, and passion for excellence have left an enduring mark on the mission support group and Team Little Rock,” said Davies.
Estelle, previously served as the Director of Cyberspace and Technology at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Georgia, where she responsible for the command’s cyberspace and communications policy, planning, resourcing, and programming along with the force development of 3,500 cyber personnel in supporting the command’s mission to provide combat ready forces.

Estelle hails from an Air Force family and was born at Dyes, AFB, Texas. She earned her undergraduate degree from the Florida State University and was then commissioned through Officer Training School in 2000. She is the widow of Major Raymond G. Estelle II, who was killed in action in 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

“Col. Estelle, you come from a long line of military service members, and I am confident the 19th Mission Support Group will continue to thrive under your command,” said Davies. “The importance of teamwork is something I know you live at your core, and you undoubtedly have the deepest understanding of what it means to put service before self.”