Sunday, January 13, 2013

173rd Fighter Wing changes command

130113-Z-NJ935-116 by oregonmildep
130113-Z-NJ935-116, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Colonel Jeremy Baenen (center) accepts the wing flag from Brigadier General Steven Gregg (left), commander of the Oregon Air National Guard, symbolizing his acceptance of command of the 173rd Fighter Wing during an official ceremony, January 13, 2013, at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore.  Colonel Jeffrey Silver (right) steps down as Baenen accepts command of the Wing.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson)

Baenen takes command of 173rd Fighter Wing

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. -  A change of command took place Sunday, January 13, 2013, at Kingsley Field.  Colonel Jeremy "Weed" Baenen, who has more than 20 years of military experience, took command of the 173rd Fighter Wing.

Baenen's military experience includes 10 years with the active duty component before joining the Oregon Air National Guard in 2002.  He most recently commanded the 173rd Operations Group after holding numerous positions at the 142nd Fighter Wing, Portland Air National Guard Base.  These assignments provide a strong skill base necessary for this key command position.

The official ceremony included the passing of the Wing guideon, a flag that represents the command, from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander.  According to Air Force protocol, the ceremony is rooted in military history, dating back to the 18th Century.  During this time, organizational flags were developed representing the individual units.  When a change of command took place, the outgoing commander would pass the flag to the invidual assuming command.  This took place in front of the entire unit so that all could witness the new commander assuming his position.

Additionally, Baenen's name was revealed on the Wing flagship F-15 Eagle as the commander of the 173rd Fighter Wing.  Flowers were presented to the wives of both of the outgoing and incoming commander from the members of the 173rd Fighter Wing.

Baenen replaced Colonel Jeffrey "Hi-Ho" Silver, who commanded the 173rd Fighter Wing since September 11, 2011.

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