by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
5/15/2015 - CAMPIA TURZII, Romania - -- Lt.
Col. Ryan Hayde took command of the 354th Expeditionary Fighter
Squadron from Lt. Col. Steven Behmer at Campia Turzii, Romania, May 15,
2015, in the middle of the U.S. Air Force's inaugural European theater
Col. Clinton Eichelberger, 355th Operations Group commander,
Davis-Monthan Air Base, Arizona, presided over the change-of-command
ceremony with more than 100 U.S. and Romanian Airmen in attendance.
Twelve A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft currently support NATO
allies as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a demonstration of U.S.
European Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa's
continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication
to the enduring peace and stability in the region.
"(Hayde's) time and experience is exactly what the 354th EFS needs to
continue its legacy as the premier close air support and combat search
and rescue A-10 squadron in our U.S. Air Force," said Eichelberger. "I
am confident you will build upon its legacy and you will do great things
as Bulldog One."
Hayde, a senior pilot with more than 1,800 flying hours including 323
hours in combat, highlighted the role the more than 300 Airmen of his
new squadron perform on a regular basis as part of the TSP throughout
"To the men and women of the 354 EFS, you are a part of an important
mission," said Hayde during his first address to the squadron. "That
mission has taken this squadron around Europe. We have trained together
with our NATO allies. We have forward deployed to multiple locations and
proven we can deploy munitions in close proximity to friendly troops in
any weather, day or night.
"The United States is committed to the security and stability of
Europe," he continued. "I look forward to working with you as we
continue to show the world America is ready now."
A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal
transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding
office to another.