The 86th Medical Squadron held a change of command ceremony where Air Force Col. Regina R. Paden relinquished command to Air Force Col. Sean L. Jersey, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, July 19.
During the ceremony, Air Force Col. Michael Roberts, commander for the 86th Medical Group at Ramstein Air Base, praised Paden for a successful command and readied Jersey for joint operations at LRMC.
"When I took command 17 months ago, my purpose was attaining (86th MDS Airmen's) trust and making sure you had no doubt of what you bring to the mission," said Paden. "Your dedication to this mission, resiliency and ability to succeed despite the challenges is why I'm convinced you're the most special squadron I've ever had the pleasure to command."
Paden emphasized the importance of teamwork within LRMC where more than 250 Airmen in the squadron work side by side with Soldiers, civilians, and local nationals to provide care for beneficiaries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
"Every member of this squadron is bilingual; we speak Air Force and Army," said Paden. "You are LRMC, and you're working side by side with Soldiers, civilians, volunteers to provide extraordinary care, and making it ordinary for our Nation's heroes."
Paden, a certified nurse midwife, previously led the unit's nursing element as the chief nurse until her appointment as commander in 2018.
"Not only are we the best squadron in the Wing but we're the best squadron in the Air Force," said Paden, noting Ramstein Air Base's recent selection for the 2019 Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence. "We have lives to save up here, we have a mission to run."
Near the conclusion of the ceremony, Airmen with the 86th MDS rendered a final salute to Paden and welcomed Jersey with a first salute.
"It doesn't matter what uniform you wear and what theater you come from, we all practice the same medicine, and we all have the same mission," said Jersey. "The future of the Defense Health Agency is right here. The partnerships that we have together, with our different services, with our German partners; we're here for the warfighters."
Jersey, a board-certified radiologist, previously served as deputy commander for the 18th Medical Group and commander of the 18th Medical Operations Squadron.
"This unit has a long and storied history of caring for the warfighters, our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines," said Jersey. "They all fight harder and fly a little higher because of the work that we do in making sure when they have the worst day up there doing their jobs, they know we're there behind them to pick them up, get them back on their way and take care of their families while they're on their missions."