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173rd Mission Support Group Command Changes Hands

173rd MSG Changes Hands

U.S. Air Force Col. James Mitchell accepts the guideon signifying his assumption of command as the 173rd Mission Support Group Commander during a change of command ceremony at the 173rd Fighter Wing in Klamath Falls, Ore., Feb. 11, 2018. Mitchell succeeds Col. James Rezac as the mission support group commander, who has accepted a position at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Riley Johnson)

173rd MSG Changes Hands

U.S. Air Force Col. Craig Rezac, outgoing 173rd Mission Support Group commander, passes the guideon back to 173rd Fighter Wing Commander, Col. Jeff Smith, signifying the passing of his leadership as he steps out of the position and takes a new position at the Pentagon. Col. James Mitchell (right) was selected as his successor later accepting the guideon in a change of command ceremony at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore., Feb. 11, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Riley Johnson)

173rd MSG Changes Hands

U.S. Air Force Col. James Mitchell presents his wife with a bouquet of flowers during a change of command ceremony where he assumed the reigns of the 173rd Mission Support Group, Feb. 11, 2018. Mitchell succeeds Col. James Rezac as the mission support group commander, who has accepted a position at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Riley Johnson)

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. --

The 173rd Fighter Wing Mission Support Group welcomed a new commander, Feb. 11, 2018. Col. James Mitchell accepted the guideon from Col. Jeff Smith, 173rd Fighter Wing commander, signifying the moment that command passed to him.

Mitchell began his career in the U.S. Army in 1994 before transferring to the Oregon Army National Guard in 2000 and later into the Oregon Air National Guard. His time in the Army is evidenced by the Ranger tab displayed on the left shoulder of his dress blues, as well as his Airborne wings and the Expert Infantryman Badge worn below his ribbon rack.

During his remarks, Mitchell noted the diversity of the support mission, from supplying aircraft parts and fuel, to managing the myriad construction projects taking place across Kingsley Field. He commended his new Airmen on excellent work and said he looks forward to the coming years.

“With significant deployed leadership experience and nearly five years of command with the 116th Air Control Squadron, he will bring a wide breadth of experience to the 173rd Fighter Wing,” said Smith of incoming commander Mitchell. “We welcome him to Team Kingsley and look forward to his leadership and innovation in support of our world-class operations.”

Outgoing commander, Col. Craig Rezac, leaves the unit after assuming command in August of 2016. He said upon relinquishing command that he steps away from a superbly functioning unit which is ready to meet the challenges that come with a growing mission and an ever-changing environment.

Rezac is returning to Washington D.C. having accepted a position on the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs staff. Smith wished him well during the ceremony and mentioned a number of challenges and successes the mission support group overcame during his tenure, including fighting wildland fires, planning and programing for $86-million in construction, and conversion of Airmen to Title 5 status.