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153rd Airlift Wing changes command

Col. Michael R. Taheri, right, accepts command of the 153rd Airlift Wing from Wyoming's Assistant Adjutant General-Air, Col. Dennis D. Grunstad II, during a ceremony Aug. 3, 2013 at Central High Shcool in Cheyenne, Wyo. The passing of the guidon is a symbolic gesture in front of an entire unit to witness a new leader assume their dutiful position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Rusty Ridley)

Col. Michael R. Taheri, right, accepts command of the 153rd Airlift Wing from Wyoming's Assistant Adjutant General-Air, Col. Dennis D. Grunstad II, during a ceremony Aug. 3, 2013 at Central High Shcool in Cheyenne, Wyo. The passing of the guidon is a symbolic gesture in front of an entire unit to witness a new leader assume their dutiful position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Rusty Ridley)

Col. Peter L. "Pete" Linde, right, accepts command of the 153rd Maintenance Group from Col. Michael R. Taheri, 153rd Airlift Wing commander, during a ceremony Aug. 4, 2013 at the Wyoming Air National Guard Base, Cheyenne, Wyo. The passing of the guidon is a symbolic gesture in front of an entire unit to witness a new leader assume their dutiful position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Rusty Ridley)

Col. Peter L. "Pete" Linde, right, accepts command of the 153rd Maintenance Group from Col. Michael R. Taheri, 153rd Airlift Wing commander, during a ceremony Aug. 4, 2013 at the Wyoming Air National Guard Base, Cheyenne, Wyo. The passing of the guidon is a symbolic gesture in front of an entire unit to witness a new leader assume their dutiful position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Rusty Ridley)

Col. Peter L. "Pete" Linde, 153rd Maintenance Group commander, addresses a gathered audience for the 153rd Mission Support Group change of command ceremony Aug. 4, 2013 at the Wyoming Air National Guard Base, Cheyenne, Wyo. Linde assumed command after .  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Rusty Ridley)

Col. Peter L. "Pete" Linde, 153rd Maintenance Group commander, addresses a gathered audience for the 153rd Mission Support Group change of command ceremony Aug. 4, 2013 at the Wyoming Air National Guard Base, Cheyenne, Wyo. Linde assumed command after . (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Rusty Ridley)

Col. Michael R. Taheri, 153rd Airlift Wing commander, addresses a gathered audience for the 153rd Mission Support Group change of command ceremony Aug. 4, 2013 at the Wyoming Air National Guard Base, Cheyenne, Wyo. Col. Shelley R. Campbell assumed command after serving as the chief of the joint staff for the Wyoming Air National Guard.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Rusty Ridley)

Col. Michael R. Taheri, 153rd Airlift Wing commander, addresses a gathered audience for the 153rd Mission Support Group change of command ceremony Aug. 4, 2013 at the Wyoming Air National Guard Base, Cheyenne, Wyo. Col. Shelley R. Campbell assumed command after serving as the chief of the joint staff for the Wyoming Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Rusty Ridley)

Col. Shelley R. Campbell, right, accepts command of the 153rd Mission Support Group from Col. Michael R. Taheri, 153rd Airlift Wing commander, during a ceremony Aug. 4, 2013 at the Wyoming Air National Guard Base, Cheyenne, Wyo. The passing of the guidon is a symbolic gesture in front of an entire unit to witness a new leader assume their dutiful position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Rusty Ridley)

Col. Shelley R. Campbell, right, accepts command of the 153rd Mission Support Group from Col. Michael R. Taheri, 153rd Airlift Wing commander, during a ceremony Aug. 4, 2013 at the Wyoming Air National Guard Base, Cheyenne, Wyo. The passing of the guidon is a symbolic gesture in front of an entire unit to witness a new leader assume their dutiful position. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Rusty Ridley)

Laura Henning, Kathryn Taheri and Natalie Hondel, members of the Cheyenne All-City Chorus, sing The Star Spangled Banner at the 153rd Airlift Wing change of command ceremony Aug. 3, 2013, at Central High Shcool, in Cheyenne, Wyo. The trio comprised members whose parents serve in the Wyoming Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Natalie Stanley)

Laura Henning, Kathryn Taheri and Natalie Hondel, members of the Cheyenne All-City Chorus, sing The Star Spangled Banner at the 153rd Airlift Wing change of command ceremony Aug. 3, 2013, at Central High Shcool, in Cheyenne, Wyo. The trio comprised members whose parents serve in the Wyoming Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Natalie Stanley)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Col. Michael R. Taheri assumed command of the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing in a ceremony Saturday, at Central High School, in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Taheri assumed command from Col. Stephen E. Rader. Rader will be assigned to the Wyoming Military Department Joint Force Headquarters as the air liaison officer, in Cheyenne.

The 153rd Airlift Wing consists of more than of 1,300 personnel to include the Air Force's first ever active duty associate and 12 C-130H aircraft. The wing is comprised of four groups: the 153rd Maintenance Group, 153rd Operations Group, 153rd Mission Support Group and the 153rd Medical Group.

The wing provides worldwide theater airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation, responds to state and federal disasters to assist with relief, and when activated employs the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System.

"Col. Taheri is very outgoing and is in it for the very best of this unit," said Assistant Adjutant General-Air, Col. Dennis Grunstad II. "I have all the confidence in the world that he is going to bring the 153rd Airlift Wing to the next level."

Taheri addressed the wing during the ceremony.

"To the men and women of the 153rd: We must remain decisively engaged in our mission of today," he said. "We all see ourselves, when we wear this uniform, as having a mission to complete and the mission is simply too important for us to risk failure in support of either our federal or state mission. We're going to do what we need to do. We've got the right people here, the right motivation and the enthusiasm to get that job done."

Taheri, a 1989 graduate of the University of Wyoming, reflected on the occasion.

"I have had many great experiences in the Air Force and in the National Guard, but none as exciting as the opportunity to come home and play for the hometown team," he said. "My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed our first year back home in Wyoming and we look forward to the years to come."

As a result of the change of command, additional command personnel moves include:

Col. Paul Lyman moved from Joint Force Headquarters to be the 153rd Airlift Wing vice commander.

Col. Shelley Campbell assumed command of the 153rd Mission Support Group.

Col. Peter Linde assumed command of the 153rd Maintenance Group.

Col. James "Pat" Moffett assumed responsibility as the chief of the joint staff for the Wyoming National Guard.