64th Air Refueling Squadron Activated at Pease Air National Guard Base
By 1Lt. Sherri Pierce
/ Published October 03, 2009
157th Air Refueling Wing -- An Activation and Assumption of Command Ceremony took place at Pease Air National Guard Base Oct. 2. This ceremony officially recognized the 64th Air Refueling Squadron and its new commander, Lt. Col. Christopher Leist.
This is a "very momentous day for the Air National Guard and the Air Force," said 157th Air Refueling Wing Commander Col. Richard Martell.
The 64th ARS is a part of the 22nd Operations Group of 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.
"This ceremony is unique because we not only activate a new flying squadron but we also assign a new commander," said Col. Steven Greco, Director of Operations and emcee for the ceremony.
"This is a day to celebrate the beginnings of a new way to capitalize on America and New Hampshire's investment in both the Active Duty Air Force and the Air National Guard," said Leist. "The next greatest generation is standing before you in formation today."
Col. Billy Langford, 22d Operations Group Commander, said this association will bring together the proud tradition of three renowned units "and set the course for a hugely successful partnership for years to come."
After the activation order was read, the 64th ARS guidon was unfurled and raised. Langford passed the guidon to Leist as a symbol of Leist's assumption of command of the 64th ARS. And with the words, "I assume command," Leist officially assumed authority and responsibility of command of the 64th ARS. Leist was presented with the United States Air Force Commander's Badge and also received his first salute from the 64th ARS.
"When the call came to nominate a squadron commander for the 64th, for me there was no deliberation necessary," said Langford. "I knew I had the perfect fit in Lt. Col. Leist."