U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION JOINT RESERVE BASE FORT WORTH, Texas --
Members of the 301st Fighter Wing Operations Group welcomed Col. Benjamin “Marsa” Harrison as their new commander, June 6, 2021, at U.S. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas.
Col. Allen “Jaks” Duckworth, 301st Fighter Wing commander, presided over the change of command ceremony where Harrison officially took command of the 301 FW OG from Col. Joshua “Stump” Padgett.
“It is bittersweet. I hate seeing Stump go,” said Duckworth. “What I would really like to do is collect, and not give away, talent. I would love to keep Stump and bring Marsa in at the same time, but I can't do that. I got to let Stump move on. I can't hold him back and I really don't want to anyway. He is going do some great things. It is going to be weird adjusting to a Spads without Stump. We’ll get through it, together.”
Duckworth presented Padgett the Legion of Merit for his service. Padgett then shared a parting speech with the 301 FW OG.
“I want to thank each and every one of you for what you do,” said Padgett. “We don't say it enough, but everybody wearing one of these sets of green pajamas [flight suits] appreciates what you guys do. To those in formation and those seated here from the 301st OG, let me say, it has been the honor of a lifetime to be your commander. You guys made it a fantastic experience, and I thank you for it.”
After assuming command of the 301 FW OG, Harrison addressed his new Airmen.
“Thank you for your service,” said Harrison. “Thank you for your dedication. Thank you for your professionalism. Thank you for your devotion to each other. You should be proud of the organization you are standing in. I look forward to working for you and to working with you. If we continue with the team mentioned, we will transition successfully to the F-35 program. Thank you."
Prior to his current position, Harrison served as the special assistant to the commander for the 419th Operations Group, Hill Air Force Base, Utah.