Meet the new RIO Det 8 commander

Col. Nathan Yates is the new HQ RIO Detachment 8 commander, following Col. Michelle Barrett’s departure in July.
Yates comes to RIO from the 310th Operations Group, where he was the deputy commander.

Col. Nathan Yates is the new HQ RIO Detachment 8 commander, following Col. Michelle Barrett’s departure in July. Yates comes to RIO from the 310th Operations Group, where he was the deputy commander.

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Col. Nathan Yates is the new HQ RIO Detachment 8 commander, following Col. Michelle Barrett’s departure in July.

Yates comes to RIO from the 310th Operations Group, where he was the deputy commander.

Yates is very familiar with the Individual Reserve, having served as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee from 2002 to 2011, before transitioning to the tradition reserve program.

“I was looking for an opportunity to come back to the IMA program when I saw this opportunity to lead in the program and to serve in Europe,” said Yates of his first AGR tour.

He said his vision as detachment commander is to work closely with the European combatant commands to meet their needs with Air Force Reserve IMAs whose civilian and military skills compliment their active-component counterparts. He added that there is a huge need in Europe for reservists to provide backfill support.

When not working for the Air Force, Yates is a college professor, teaching business and analytics. He hopes he is able to employ these skills while a member of the HQ RIO team. Yates said he is also looking forward to working with the other detachments to solve problems, provide consistency and standardize policy.

The new commander said he encourages the IMAs assigned to Detachment 8 to communicate early and often, and not just when they have a need or an issue.

“The IMA’s number one job is to be ready for the fight we hope never comes but they provide a skilled and ready option for our active-duty counterparts,” said Yates, adding that his detachment is on the ground in Europe to support IMAs assigned and on duty there.

Detachment 8 is located at Patch Barracks, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, Germany. More information on the detachment is available at http://www.arpc.afrc.af.mil/HQRIO/Detachments/Detachment-8/.