Amata congratulates Colonel Tilo at Change of Command Ceremony
Washington, D.C. — Wednesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata attended a United States Air Force Change of Command Ceremony at which Colonel James S. Mehta formally relinquished Command of the Sixth Field Investigations to Colonel Vasaga Tilo, Jr., at a June 11 ceremony on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Hawai’i.
The Congresswoman and the Colonel’s father, Senator Tilo of American Samoa, attended at the invitation of the Commander, Air Force Office of Special Investigations Colonel Kirk B. Stabler. The setting of the event was the Historic Hickam Officers’ Club, Aloha Aina Park.
“Congratulations to Colonel Tilo as he takes on this important responsibility and leads the Sixth Field Investigations,” said Aumua Amata. “It was a pleasure to be there, along with his father, Senator Tilo of Aua Village, as the Colonel was welcomed to his new command. Colonel Tilo is one of our own and making our islands proud with his honorable life’s work in the military.”
Colonel Tilo is an experienced investigator and Air Force officer, and among his decorations, awards and recognitions, he was presented with the Bronze Star Medal in a 2012 ceremony in Quantico, Virginia, at the headquarters of the Office of Special Investigations.
As Commander of OSI Expeditionary Detachment 2405, Bagram Air Field Afghanistan, from October 2009 through October 2010, his leadership and accomplishments earned the Bronze Star. He led his team on more than 200 outside-the-wire combat missions in hostile environments, conducting counter-threat operations and tactical intelligence collections.
According to the Air Force announcement, since 1944, the Bronze Star is a combat award that has been reserved for a person in any branch of the military who is distinguished by heroic or meritorious achievement or service in military operations against an armed enemy.
“Colonel Tilo has already served our country in remarkable ways, and is highly prepared for this Command,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “He’s another superb example for our young people in American Samoa, many of whom will consider serving our country in the noble tradition of our islands. Our thoughts are with our men and women serving today all over the world, and we appreciate each of our Veterans.”