Joint Base Andrews, Md. -- Col. Michael A. Sinks accepted command of the 844th Communications Group from Col. Rocky A. Favorito during a change-of-command ceremony June 28 on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
"I have to admit this is a surreal situation in that I was first stationed here back in the mid 80’s manning gates and guarding Air Force One," said Sinks. "To be here leading a superb group of airmen with such a critical cyberspace operations mission is truly a blessing and honor."
As the 844th CG commander, Sinks will provide the single Information Technology voice and Air Force Component to Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region. He will command a team that provides communications and IT systems and services for The National Military Command Center, Headquarters United States Air Force, and other organizations within the NCR, to include travel communications support to the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Air Force Chief of Staff.
"Cyber readiness is about connecting Airmen—both military and civilian—with an understanding of how cyberspace, and our actions in and through cyberspace, impact our Air Force core missions," said Air Force District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. James A. Jacobson. “It is very possible our next conflict will involve a cyber aspect we’ve never experienced before as a Service. Mike, I’m counting on you to get us ready."
Sinks has commanded at the squadron level twice. He has served at several joint staff positions to include the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, and Air Staff.
The colonel enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1984, and served as a law enforcement specialist for 12 years before receiving his commission in 1996 from the Air Force Officer Training School. He graduated from Colorado Christian University with a Bachelors of Science degree in computer information system management, and from University of Maryland University College with a master's degree in computer resource management. Additionally, Sinks attended Squadron Officer School and Air Command and Staff College.
“Each and every day over 18,000 customers rely on the 844th for a host of services, including executive support and contingency response,” said Jacobson. “By improving communication and collaboration, we reduce some of the complexity to ensure seamless support both when and where it is required.”
“This group’s many no-fail missions are vital to our department of defense leaders’ ability to command and control the greatest air force in the history of the world,” said Sinks. “It’s humbling to be part of this group’s amazing mission.”
Favorito, who took command more than two years ago, said a heartfelt goodbye to the men and women of the 844th.
"Command is a tremendous honor and also a tremendous responsibility and when you pour your heart and soul into it, it is tough to let go," said Favorito. " But change is woven into our Air Force DNA and I know I’m leaving the group in very capable hands. You all should be extremely proud of your accomplishments. I know I am and I know you will continue to excel under Col Sinks."
Favorito will be retiring next month after more than 26 years of dedication and service in the Air Force.