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480th ISRW welcomes new commander

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brian, 25th Air Force commander, hands the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing guidion to the wing’s new commander, Col. Max Pearson, during a change of command ceremony June 19, 2018, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brian, 25th Air Force commander, hands the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing guidion to the wing’s new commander, Col. Max Pearson, during a change of command ceremony June 19, 2018, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. As commander of the 480th ISRW, Pearson will direct the global operations of six ISR groups, providing world-class ISR to combatant commanders, Combined Forces Air Component commanders, Numbered Air Force commanders and coalition forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Darnell T. Cannady)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS --

U.S. Air Force Col. Max Pearson, the new 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing commander, accepted the wing’s guidion from Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brian, 25th Air Force commander, during the change of command ceremony here on June 19, 2018.

As the 480th ISRW commander, Pearson will direct the global ISR operations of six groups providing world-class ISR to combatant commanders, Combined Forces Air Component commanders, Numbered Air Force commanders and coalition forces. The wing spans the full spectrum of ISR operations, from humanitarian assistance to major theater conflict.

“This Wing represents a true asymmetric advantage for America. Continuing to deliver these capabilities, and sustaining this advantage, is a sacred duty,” said Pearson. “I am as honored to take on that duty as I am to stand before this formation as the commander.”

Pearson is also passionate about the Airmen in his new wing.

“Our Airmen are our most valuable assets,” he said. “They are the heart and soul of our capabilities - not systems, staffs or leadership - and we need to treat them as such.”

“I’m joining an amazing team that’s doing nationally consequential things,” added Pearson. “This is going to be fun. I have a lot to learn, and I’m all in!” 

The 480th ISR Wing has a remarkable history dating back to 1943 when it was activated as the 480th Anti-Submarine Group. Currently, the wing, which is the largest ISR wing in the Air Force, has 23 active-duty squadrons comprised of more than 6,000 active duty Airmen and over 2,200 Air National Guard and Reserves personnel.