31st Fighter Wing Change of Command
18 July 2022 Aviano Air Base

Monday 18th July 2022 at Aviano Air Base, Brig. Gen. Jason E. Bailey has relinquished Command to Maj. Gen. Dereck C. France, Third Air Force Commander, and Brig. Gen. Tad D. Clark has assumed Command of 31st Fighter Wing.

Lunedì 18 luglio 2022, alla Base di Aviano, si è celebrato il Cambio di Comando del 31st Fighter Wing. Il Brig. Gen Jason E. Bailey ha ceduto il Comando al Maj. Gen. Dereck C. France, Comandante della Third Air Force, il quale lo ha poi passato al Brig. Gen. Tad D. Clark, nuovo Comandante del 31st Fighter Wing.

Adriano Marzotto (AAFG)

The Aviano AB Aviation Friends Group had the opportunity to be present at the Ceremony, 
a special thanks to Mrs. Angela Zammattio, 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office.
 Adriano Marzotto (AAFG)

Major General Derek C. France

Maj. Gen. Dereck C. France, Commander Third Air Force, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Third Air Force issues directives to subordinate commands and takes action on behalf of the U.S.Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa Commander as directed.   Third Air Force Exercises delegated authorities over assigned forces that include personnel mana gement, General Courts Martial Convening Authority, and advising subordinate commands on requirements, programs, and budget. Third Air Force also work with its subordinate commands to ensure implementation and compliance with relevant policies and directives of the Department of Defens, Headquarters Air Force, and USAFE-AFAFRICA. Additionally, Third Air Force facilitates coordination between its subordinate commands and USAFE-AFAFRICA, U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, DoD agencies, and other field activities.

Source: 31st Fighter Wing

Brigadier General Jason E. Bailey

Brig. Gen. Jason E. Bailey is the Commander, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy. He commands the only permanently assigned U.S.Air Force fighter aircraft wing in NATO's Southern Region. With approximately 4,600 active duty military members, nearly 300 U.S. civilians and 700 Italian civilian employees, the Wing conducts and supports air combat operations, and maintains munitions for NATO. The wing's diverse mission sets are executed by Airmen that fly, maintain and support two F-16CM Fighting Falcon fighter squadrons, two combat search and rescue squadrons with pararescue Airmen and HH-60G Pave Hawks, U.S. Air Force Europe's only air control squadron, agile combat support squadrons, medical squadrons and numerous wing staff agencies.

Brigadier General Tad D. Clark

Brig. Gen. Tad D. Clark is the Director of Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) Superiority, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Virginia. He is responsible to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Survelliance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations for policy formulation, planning, oversight and leadership of the Air Force EMS enterprise. Prior to this assignment, he served as the Senior Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Brig. Gen Clark is a command pilot with over 3,300 fliyng hours in the T-37, T-38, AT-38, and F-16. He flew 118 missions in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM with multiple expeditionary fighter squadrons culminating in more than 600 combat hours in the F-16.

History Of The Change Of Command Ceremony

The Change of Command Ceremony is rooted in military history, dating back to the 18th century during the reign of King Federick, the Great of Prussia. During this time, organizational flags were developed with color arrangements and symbols unique to the particolar military unit. When a Change of Command took place, the outgoing commander would pass the flag to the incoming commander. This gesture was accomplished in front of the unit so that all could see and witness their new leader assuming command. The person who controlled the flag also controlled the soldiers and their allegiance.
During battle, commanders, with the flag at their side, would choose a place on high ground from which to observe and control the combat situation. The flag served as a visible position for the troops to re-group or rally around during retrteats or victory.

The now symbolic tradition of passing the guidon has survived through military history and remains the key event of this military ceremony.