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New commander for the 489th Bomb Group

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U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher Hawn is surrounded by his children after taking command of the 489th Bomb Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, July 13, 2019. Part of the 307th Bomb Wing out of Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, the 489th is a geographically separated unit. It was reformed in 2015, making the 307th Bomb Wing the only wing in the Air Force to fly both the B-1 and the B-52 Stratofortress. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rory Riggs, stands at attention outside the commander’s B-1 Lancer during the 489th Bomb Group change of command ceremony at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, July 13, 2019. He had just placed Col. Christopher Hawn’s name on the jet. Hawn replaces Col. Brian McClanahan as commander of the 489th BG. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

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Melissa Hawn applauds during a change of command ceremony for the 489th Bomb Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, July 13, 2019. Her husband, U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher Hawn, accepted command of the unit during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

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U.S. Air Force Col. Steven Kirkpatrick, 307th Bomb Wing commander, hands the 489th Bomb Group guidon to Col. Christopher Hawn, 489th Bomb Group commander, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, July 13, 2019. The 489th BG is a geographically separated unit within the 307th Bomb Group. It flies the B-1 Lancer, making the 307th BW the only wing in the Air Force currently flying two bomber platforms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

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U.S. Air Force Col. Steven Kirkpatrick, 307th Bomb Wing commander, Col. Brian McClanahan, 489th Bomb Group commander, and Col. Christopher Hawn, 489th BG director of operations, look on during a change of command ceremony at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, July 13, 2019. Hawn took command of the 489th BG during the ceremony. He is a combat rated pilot with more than 20 years of service in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

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Well wishers gather for a change of command ceremony for the 489th Bomb Group, July 13, 2019 at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. During the ceremony, U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher Hawn took command of the unit. Hawn served as director of operations for the 489th BG prior to being named its commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

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Members of the base honor guard practice before a change of command ceremony for the 489th Bomb Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, July 13, 2019. U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher Hawn took command of the unit from Col. Brian McClanahan during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

          Col. Christopher Hawn took the reigns of the 489th Bomb Group during a change of command ceremony here, July 13, 2019. 

          Hawn, the former director of operations for the unit, brings more than 20 years of experience as an officer and more than 3,000 flight hours as a bomber pilot to the position.  He is also a graduate of the Air Force Academy and has served as a war planning strategist at the Pentagon.

          Col. Steven Kirkpatrick, 307th Bomb Wing commander, expressed his appreciation for Hawn’s contributions to the Air Force and the 489th BG in a speech to the crowd of onlookers at the ceremony. He also thanked outgoing commander, Col. Brian McClanahan, for his guidance and leadership for the 489th BG. 

         Hawn urged the Reserve Citizen Airmen in the audience to look to the past for inspiration during his inaugural speech as 489th BG commander, by recalling the response of the Air Force bomber community in the months and years following the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

          “As we reflect on the past missions, with nearly two decades of combat operations that spawned countless giants, some of whom sit among us here today, there are so many lessons we have learned,” said Hawn.

          He then pivoted to a forward looking stance, addressing the need for preparation and quality training.

          “Our future has yet to be written, our next call to action unknown.  If history has taught us anything, it is that you must be ready,” said Hawn. 

          Hawn recognized several members of the 489th for their outstanding efforts as a gesture designed to remind the assembly of the individual Reserve Citizen Airmen’s importance in mission readiness and reform. Hawn presented each Airman recognized with a commander’s coin immediately following the change of command ceremony.

          Tech. Sgt. Joseph Ford III, Senior Airman Kyle Peffley, Staff Sgt. Matthew Windmann, Tech. Sgt. Kevin Parnell, Tech. Sgt. Nelson Hernandez, Staff Sgt. Shane Furnish, all of the 489th Maintenance Squadron, and Master Sgt. Dagoverto Aguilar of the 489th Aerospace Medicine Flight were included in the presentation.

          Aguilar was recognized for outstanding performance in a deployed location. Hernandez received accolades for his efforts in training both Reserve and active-duty Airmen and advancing the readiness of both groups.  Ford, Peffley, Windmann, Parnell and Furnish all contributed to getting the 489th BG fleet mission ready by troubleshooting, repairing and fabricating millions of dollars’ worth of parts for jets and various pieces of maintenance equipment.

          Hawn expressed his appreciation for their efforts and made a promise to all the Reserve Citizen Airmen of the unit.

          “I am truly humbled and honored to have this opportunity to serve as your commander.  Take care of the mission and let me take care of you,” he told the assembly.  

        The 489th BG, which flies the B-1 Lancer, is part of the 307th Bomb Wing, the only bomber wing in the Air Force Reserve Command.  It is also the only bomber wing in the Air Force currently flying both the B-1 Lancer and the B-52 Stratofortress.