4-part ceremony equips 406th AEW to continue 435th AEW legacy

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Miquel Jordan
  • 406th Air Expeditionary Wing

The 435th Air Expeditionary Wing was deactivated during a four-part ceremony that also included the activation of the 406th Air Expeditionary Wing, and the assumption of command of the 406th AEW, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 9, 2023.

U.S. Air Force Col. Jason D. Chambers assumed command of the 406th AEW during the ceremony, which officially divided the 435th Air Grounds Operations Wing and 435th AEW into separate organizations under their own commands after previously having the same dual-wing commander.

The ceremony included Col. Bryan Callahan relinquishing command of both the 435th AGOW and 435th AEW, and Col. Matthew Bartlett accepting command of the 435th AGOW.

“Prior to today, the burden and responsibility of commanding these two wings fell on one set of shoulders,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Derek France, 3rd Air Force commander. “These Airmen and mission sets – in very different theaters and continents – deserve a full-time commander to lead both of these wings.”

Chambers recently relinquished command of the 449th Air Expeditionary Group, assigned to the former 435th AEW. Chambers is a prior-enlisted Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape instructor. He later commissioned to become an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter pilot.

Chambers addressed members of the new 406th AEW during the ceremony to express his gratitude for their efforts in carrying out the the wing’s mission.

“To the dedicated men and women of the 406th AEW, you are the heart and soul of this wing,” said Chambers. “Your commitment to our missions in Djibouti, Kenya, Niger and everywhere the sun touches is truly commendable. We are entrusted with critical responsibilities to execute our missions that require your courage, hard work and dedication.”

The 406th AEW is the only air wing in U.S. Africa Command and is comprised of two groups, 10 squadrons and four airfields within Europe and Africa. The wing executes mission-sets in support of USAFRICOM, U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Special Operations Command, including assisting African partners in protecting their borders with matters of national security.

The 406th AEW will continue the now-deactivated 435 AEW’s mission of conducting tactical airlift, personnel recovery and casualty evacuation, and multi-role attack operations.