MSG gets new commander

  • Published
  • 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 944th Mission Support Group changed command February 12, during a ceremony held here in Hangar 999.

Col. Paul Theisen, relinquished his command to Lt. Col. Gavin D. Tade, the incoming 944th Mission Support Group commander. Col. Kurt J. Gallegos, 944th Fighter Wing presided over the event.

In his opening remarks, Gallegos thanked Theisen for his outstanding leadership of the MSG.

“Col Theisen has done a fantastic job as our Mission Support Group commander,” said Gallegos. “Were very lucky that he joined our team just over two years ago and we’re even luckier because we are not losing him from the wing, he’s just sliding over to a new position in the wing.”

During the ceremony Theisen asked the audience to take a look at the Airmen lined up in formation for the ceremony.

“They are the true reason we’re all here today,” explained Theisen. “I’m humbled to have been given the chance to work with them and provide all the support I could so they can do their mission to the absolute best of their abilities without question of purpose or doubt of importance. I sincerely thank you for your dedication and your willingness to step forward when your nation needs you.”

Theisen was rendered a final salute by the MSG as they stood in formation, a sign of respect for both the out-going and incoming commanders.

“I have had some incredible assignments, experiences, deployments and opportunities in my career,” shared Theisen. “Those are being eclipsed today. The relevance that you bring to the fight is substantial. Colonel Tade, you my friend, have just become the lucky recipient of the honor to serve these fine American Airmen”

Tade was the 10th Air Force Deputy Director for Operations and Plans at the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas before accepting the guidon from Gallegos, officially taking command of his new group.

“Col Tade has a big job ahead of him,” said Gallegos. “But I know he is up to the challenge. He brings a lot of energy and a new perspective that will be great for the MSG and the wing as we grow and get busier.”
During his remarks, Tade gave a peek into what the group can expect during his time here.

“To the Airmen of the 944th Mission Support Group,” said Tade. “I believe we get better each and every day. Each time I drive through the gate I strive to be better and over the next few years I challenge you to be better. Better at taking care of our Airmen, better at taking care of our mission, and better at taking care of our country.”

“One heart, one vision, one desire equals the best MSG in the Air Force,” said Tade at the conclusion of his speech. “Now let’s get to work!”

Tade is a command pilot with a Master’s of Science degree in aviation safety from the University of Central Missouri and more than 1,820 hours flown in the T-3, T-37, T-38, AT-38, and F-16.

His is major deployments have included Northern No-Fly Zone enforcement in 1999 and 2002 as well as Southern No-Fly Zone enforcement in 2001 with more than 45 combat hours. He also led several missions in support of Operation Noble Eagle in 2001, 2002 and 2004.

The mission of the 944 MSG is training and equipping Reservists to provide agile and timely support for contingencies and operations worldwide.