By Cory Hancock, JFHQ-NCR/MDW Public AffairsJuly 16, 2014
WASHINGTON (July 15, 2014) -- The U.S. Army Air Operations Group hosted Change of Command and Change of Responsibility ceremonies for their outgoing command team held in Hanger 3 on Joint Base Andrews, Md.
"Thanks to the Military District of Washington staff and command, the fellow units in MDW and our interagency partners for the great support, guidance and mentorship over the past two years," said Col. William D. McGarrity, outgoing AAOG commander. "I want to thank the incredible Soldiers, Civilians and Families of the Air Operations Group for what you accomplished and what you are about to do. Responder 6 signing out."
McGarrity assumed command of AAOG on August 16, 2012. His next duty station is in Israel.
Colonel Timothy D. Brown is the new AAOG commander, hails from Brainerd, Minn. and recently finished a one-year Harvard National Security Program Fellowship. His awards include a bronze star, master aviator badge and army staff identification badge. Brown has served numerous places in his military career both at home and abroad to include assignments in Korea, Germany and Afghanistan.
"Being a Soldier is a team sport," said Brown. "I'd like to recognize the many Soldiers, coaches, mentors, great leaders, and top notch teammates that bare more than a little responsibility for placing me before you today."
Both Change of Command and Change of Responsibility ceremonies were held on the same day to help maintain the continuity of command and the mission readiness of the unit.
Sgt. Maj. Shawn Jones has been the command sergeant major for AAOG since August 2, 2012 and noted his appreciation to the MDW and AAOG staff during his farewell speech in which he ended with, "Responder 7 signing off."
Incoming AAOG Command Sergeant Major, Sgt. Maj. Joseph J. Chang, has deployed five times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and once in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In addition to Iraq and Afghanistan, Chang has also served in Germany, Korea and across the United States including Kentucky, Texas and his home state of Hawaii.
The day before the ceremony McGarrity and Jones honored America's fallen heroes by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at Arlington National Cemetery.
AAOG is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and has its headquarters at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. AAOG plans, coordinates, and executes aviation operations, to include regional and worldwide priority air transport for the Army's senior leadership, selected DoD officials, and Combatant Commanders. They execute airfield operations at Davison Army Airfield, and provide Air Traffic Services support to the Pentagon helipad. The AAOG's units include the 12th Aviation Battalion located at Davison Army Airfield, Fort Belvoir, Va., and the 911th Engineer Company. In addition to serving the National Capital Region, AAOG also operates from Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany and Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.