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509th Bomb Wing conducts change of command

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. - Col. Garrett Harencak, 509th Bomb Wing commander, addresses the men and women of the 509th BW during a change-of-command ceremony Sept. 14. Brig. Gen. Greg Biscone relinquished command and travels to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to become the deputy commander of operations for U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Charles D. Larkin Sr.)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. - Col. Garrett Harencak, 509th Bomb Wing commander, addresses the men and women of the 509th BW during a change-of-command ceremony Sept. 14. Brig. Gen. Greg Biscone relinquished command and travels to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to become the deputy commander of operations for U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Charles D. Larkin Sr.)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- (Left to right) Lt. Gen. Robert Elder Jr., 8th Air Force commander, Col. Garrett Harencak and Brig. Gen. Greg Biscone, stand at attention while the men and women of the 509th Bomb Wing sing the Air Force Song during the 509th Bomb Wing change-of-command ceremony Sept. 14. Colonel Harencak took command of the 509th BW from General Biscone during the ceremony. General Biscone travels to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to become the deputy commander of Operations at U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Felicia Haecker)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- (Left to right) Lt. Gen. Robert Elder Jr., 8th Air Force commander, Col. Garrett Harencak and Brig. Gen. Greg Biscone, stand at attention while the men and women of the 509th Bomb Wing sing the Air Force Song during the 509th Bomb Wing change-of-command ceremony Sept. 14. Colonel Harencak took command of the 509th BW from General Biscone during the ceremony. General Biscone travels to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to become the deputy commander of Operations at U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Felicia Haecker)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- (Left to right) Lt. Gen. Robert Elder Jr., 8th Air Force commander, Col. Garrett Harencak and Brig. Gen. Greg Biscone, stand at attention while the men and women of the 509th Bomb Wing sing the Air Force Song during the 509th Bomb Wing change-of-command ceremony Sept. 14. Colonel Harencak took command of the 509th BW from General Biscone during the ceremony. General Biscone travels to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to become the deputy commander of Operations at U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Felicia Haecker)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- (Left to right) Lt. Gen. Robert Elder Jr., 8th Air Force commander, Col. Garrett Harencak and Brig. Gen. Greg Biscone, stand at attention while the men and women of the 509th Bomb Wing sing the Air Force Song during the 509th Bomb Wing change-of-command ceremony Sept. 14. Colonel Harencak took command of the 509th BW from General Biscone during the ceremony. General Biscone travels to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to become the deputy commander of Operations at U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Felicia Haecker)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- (Left to right) Lt. Gen. Robert Elder Jr., 8th Air Force commander, presents the 509th Bomb Wing guidon to Col. Garrett Harencak as Brig. Gen. Greg Biscone stands at attention during the 509th Bomb Wing change-of-command ceremony Sept. 14. Colonel Harencak took command of the 509th BW from General Biscone during the ceremony. General Biscone travels to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to become the deputy commander of Operations at U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Felicia Haecker)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- (Left to right) Lt. Gen. Robert Elder Jr., 8th Air Force commander, presents the 509th Bomb Wing guidon to Col. Garrett Harencak as Brig. Gen. Greg Biscone stands at attention during the 509th Bomb Wing change-of-command ceremony Sept. 14. Colonel Harencak took command of the 509th BW from General Biscone during the ceremony. General Biscone travels to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to become the deputy commander of Operations at U.S. Central Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Felicia Haecker)

WHITEMAN AFB, Mo. -- Col. Garrett Harencak took the reins of the 509th Bomb Wing from Brig. Gen. Greg Biscone during a change-of-command ceremony Sept. 14 at the 442nd Fighter Wing 5-bay hangar.

Lt. Gen. Robert J. Elder, 8th Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony.

Military change-of-commands are a time-honored tradition to formally symbolize the continuity of authority as the command is passed from one individual to another. The transfer of command is physically presented by passing the command flag, the tangible symbol of the unit, from the outgoing commander to the new.

In assuming command, Colonel Harencak said, "As you all know it is a great privilege to command any wing in America's Air Force, but to get to lead this superb organization - a wing that has a record of excellence and courage and assorted accomplishments that will forever be a story and part of the glorious history of America's Air Force - well that's just cool."

Colonel Harencak said it's a privilege to serve here in the greatest wing in America's Air Force. He said he knows the potential of the professional men and women of the 509th BW and is committed to taking care of them.

"We know here at Team Whiteman that America's premier weapon, America's great national defense asset doesn't come with a tail number; it comes with a social security number," said the colonel.

"No incoming commander can ask for a base and wing to be in better shape on the day of assumption of command," said Colonel Harencak as a testament to General Biscone's leadership ability.

General Elder said the wing has transitioned into very capable hands.

"General Biscone is being replaced by a phenomenal leader in Brigadier General select Harencak," he said.

General Elder also commented on the vital role the Airmen at Whiteman play in our nation's defense.

"This unit has been supporting the Global War on Terrorism and continue to support deterrence not only in a nuclear standpoint but also against weapons of mass destruction and deterrence against other acts against the United States," he said

General Elder bid General Biscone farewell and said he knows he will do great things at his next assignment as the deputy commander of operations for U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.