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Samuelson assumes command of 64th ARS

Colonel Thomas J. Riney (left), commander 22d Operations Group, McConnel Air Force Base, Kansas presents the 64th Air Refueling Squadron's guidon to Lieutenant Colonel Ryan R. Samuelson symbolizing the 64th ARS's change of command from and  Lt. Col. Christopher D. Leist to Lt. Col. Samuelson, Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire, June 2, 2011.  Master Sergeant Jeffrey J. Heik, 64th ARS First Sergeant looks on. The 64th ARS is the first KC-135 Air National Guard Active Associate Squadron under the Air Force’s concept of Total Force Integration.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz)

Colonel Thomas J. Riney (left), commander 22d Operations Group, McConnel Air Force Base, Kansas presents the 64th Air Refueling Squadron's guidon to Lieutenant Colonel Ryan R. Samuelson symbolizing the 64th ARS's change of command from and Lt. Col. Christopher D. Leist to Lt. Col. Samuelson, Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire, June 2, 2011. Master Sergeant Jeffrey J. Heik, 64th ARS First Sergeant looks on. The 64th ARS is the first KC-135 Air National Guard Active Associate Squadron under the Air Force’s concept of Total Force Integration. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz)

Pease Air National Guard Base -- Over 150 people gathered to witness Lt. Col. Ryan Samuelson assume command of the 64th Air Refueling Squadron June 2 at Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H.

"Lt. Col. Ryan Samuelson is the right person to step into the 64th leadership role," said Col. Thomas Riney, 22nd Operations Group commander. "The 64th is in good hands with you at the helm."

The 64th ARS is a part of the 22nd Operations Group from McConnell Air Force Base but is operationally assigned to the 157th Air Refueling Wing. The partnership was formed as part of the Active Associate concept where Active Duty Airmen are assigned to an Air National Guard unit and work hand-in-hand with Guardsmen.

"For me this is a dream come true," Samuelson said. "I am deeply honored and completely humbled to command this phenomenal squadron. I proudly accept responsibility for it and look forward to continuing to be a part of its history of outstanding performance and true dedication to the security of this great nation."

Prior to his current assignment, Samuelson was the Operations Officer for the 64th ARS.

"Today is a celebration of Lt. Col. Ryan Samuelson," said outgoing commander Lt. Col. Christopher Leist.

"He understands real hard work. He understands sacrifice. He is intelligent beyond belief. He has a strong faith. His immediate and extended family is fantastic and really wants to see (him) succeed," Leist said.

"You know it means the world to me that I was able to serve this country doing a job that I absolutely loved with people I adored. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for every precious second you have allowed me. Now my work ends here and (Lt. Col. Samuelson's) begins.

Before relinquishing command, Leist was presented with the Meritorious Service Medal and the N.H. National Guard Distinguished Service Medal.
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