63rd Theater Aviation Brigade conducts change of command

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Story and photos by Maj. Benjamin Singleton, 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Officer

Col. Michael S. Ferguson, 63rd Theater Aviation incoming commander, receives the brigade guidon from Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin L. Wilkins, symbolizing the transfer of command of the unit.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Col. Michael S. Ferguson assumed command of the 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade in a ceremony held at Boone National Guard Center, Frankfort on Saturday, June 11, 2011.

Col. Aaron T. Barrier, 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade outgoing commander, Maj. Gen. Ed Tonini, state adjutant general and Col. Michael S. Ferguson, 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade incoming commander, salute as the national anthem plays during the change of command ceremony at Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, Ky., June 11.

Col. Ferguson replaces Col. Aaron T. Barrier, who remains the State Aviation Officer in addition to taking command of Agribusiness Development Team 4, which deploys to Afghanistan in early 2012.

Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky, presided over the ceremony.

The purpose of a change of command ceremony is to emphasize the continuation of leadership and unit identity despite the change in individual authority.  The ceremony also symbolizes the transfer of command responsibility from one individual to another.  Passing the ceremonial flag from the old commander to the new commander physically represents this transfer.

Two UH-60 Blackhawks and an OH-58 Kiowa fly over the 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade change of command ceremony at Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, Ky., June 11.

The 63rd TAB serves as the command and control element for Army aviation assets within the Kentucky National Guard. The 63rd TAB is also the command and control element for Task Force Aviation, part of the Chemical Biological Radiological and High-Yield Explosive Consequence Management Response Force, which is dedicated to responding to disasters on a national scale.

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