31st Mission Support Group Change of Command
27 September 2021 Aviano Air Base

The 31st Mission Support Group Change of Command Ceremony took place Friday 27th September 2021 at Aviano Air Base, where Colonel Christopher M. Busque has relinquished Command to Brigadier General Jason E. Bailey, 31st Fighter Wing Commander, and Colonel Timothy P. Maxwell has assumed Command of 31st Mission Support Group.

The Mission Support Group includes the operation of six Aviano-based squadrons: the Civil Engineer Squadron, the Communications Squadron, the Contracting Squadron, the Logistics Readiness Squadron, the Security Forces Squadron and the Force Support Squadron. Togheter these units ensure the 31st Fighter Wing’s ability to mobilize, deploy and employ combat airpower. They also sustain the base’s in-place missions, its workforce and their families and base infrastructure worth over $4 billion, while simultaneously providing security for the base.

The Aviano AB Aviation Friends Group had the opportunity to be present at the Ceremony, a special thanks to Mrs. Monica Del Rizzo, 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office.
                                                                                                                                                           Adriano Marzotto (AAFG) Photos by Adriano Marzotto - Pietro Borsato (AAFG)


Brigadier General Jason E. Bailey

The 31st Fighter Wing is the only permanently assigned U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft wing in NATO’s Southern Region.
With 4200 active duty military members, 300 U.S. civilians and 700 Italian civilian employees, the Wing conducts and supports air combat operations and maintains munitions for NATO

Data source: 31st Mission Support Group, 31st Fighter Wing

Colonel Christopher M. Busque

Prior to this assignement, Colonel Busque was the Chief, Military Force Policy Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Whashington D.C.
Addictionally Colonel Busque has commanded two Force Support Squadrons and has served in a variety of notable positions at the Headquarters Air Force, Joint and Wing level.

Colonel Timothy P. Maxwell

Colonel Maxwell after a distinguished graduate, worked on the Milstar Satellite Program. Colonel Maxwell also performed numerous squadron duties as flight commander of mission system, plans and base information. He deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia and served as the base-level Network Flight Commander, consisting of more than 77 personnel. Colonel Maxwell also deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar as the Plans Flight Commander (CAOC) and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Africa as the Deputy J6 for C4 Systems. Prior to his previous position at tha HQ AFSPC, he served as the Senior Advisor, Headquarters Resolute Support, to the First Deputy, Minister of Defense for the Afghan National Army, Kabul Afghanistan

History of the Change of Command Ceremony

The Change of Command Ceremony is rooted in military history, dating back to the 18th century during the reign of King Federick, the Great of Prussia. During this time, organizational flags were developed with color arrangements and symbols unique to the particolar military unit. When a Change of Command took place, the outgoing commander would pass the flag to the incoming commander. This gesture was accomplished in front of the unit so that all could see and witness their new leader assuming command. The person who controlled the flag also controlled the soldiers and their allegiance.
During battle, commanders, with the flag at their side, would choose a place on high ground from which to observe and control the combat situation. The flag served as a visible position for the troops to re-group or rally around during retrteats or victory.
The now symbolic tradition of passing the guidon has survived through military history and remains the key event of this military ceremony.