321st Air Expeditionary Advisory Group holds change of command ceremony
By Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert, 321 Air Expeditionary Wing, Public Affairs
/ Published June 18, 2010
KIRKUK REGIONAL AIR BASE, Iraq -- Col. Shaun Turner assumed command of the 321st Air Expeditionary Advisory Group from Col. Christopher Pehrson in a ceremony held here at Kirkuk, Monday, June 14.
Col. Turner, a command pilot with more than 4,200 flying hours is deployed from the United States Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, VA, where he is Chief of the Joint Deployment Process Improvement Branch.
"There can sometimes be an emphasis on equipment--be it airplanes, missiles, sensors or buildings," continued Col. Turner, "But the most important thing we will build together is a friendship and partnership that will strengthen our countries' strategic relationship for years to come."
"To my fellow brothers in arms in the Iraqi Air force, again shukran--thank you for being here," concluded Col. Turner, "I thank you in advance for your patience as I strive to learn my new responsibilities."
The group consists of three advisory squadrons, two military training teams and a group staff operating at four locations in Iraq. The group's mission is to advise and assist the Iraqi Air Force in developing credible, professional, and enduring capabilities.
Brig. Gen. Scott Hanson, director, Iraq Training and Advisory Mission - Air Force, and commander, 321st Air Expeditionary Wing presided over the ceremony and staff Lt. Gen. Anwer Ahmed, commanding general, Iraqi Air Force also attended with his 'A-staff' directors.
The mid-morning event included numerous members of the 321st Air Expeditionary Wing and their Iraqi partners who witnessed the tradition of transferring the guidon from one commander to the next.
The change of command ceremony is deeply rooted in military history, dating to the 18th century during the reign of King Frederick the Great of Prussia, when organizations developed flags with color arrangements and symbols unique to each unit. The flags served as a rallying point and a reminder to the troops of their allegiance to their leader during battle.