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319th Air Base Wing Redesignates as 319th Reconnaissance Wing

Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brien, 25th Air Force commander, offers remarks to the crowd during a change of command ceremony June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brien, 25th Air Force commander, offers remarks to the crowd during a change of command ceremony June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. The change of command ceremony was followed by a redesignation, changing the 319th Air Base Wing to the 319th Reconnaissance Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez)

Col. Benjamin Spencer, 319th Air Base Wing commander, receives the Legion of Merit from Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brian, 25th Air Force commander, during a change of command ceremony June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

Col. Benjamin Spencer, 319th Air Base Wing commander, receives the Legion of Merit from Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brian, 25th Air Force commander, during a change of command ceremony June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. Spencer was recognized for his service as commander of the 319 ABW, during which he played a major role in getting the base redesignated as the 319th Reconnaissance Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez)

The 319th Reconnaissance Wing guidon replaces that of the 319th Air Base Wing June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, officially marking the base’s main mission as reconnaissance.

The 319th Reconnaissance Wing guidon replaces that of the 319th Air Base Wing June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, officially marking the base’s main mission as reconnaissance. The redesignation provides the Grand Forks military and civilian communities with a stronger association with the remotely piloted aircraft mission that they have steadfastly supported through daily military operations and innovative public-private partnerships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez, caption by Senior Airman Elijaih Tiggs)

Col. Cameron Pringle, 319th Air Base Wing commander, assumes command in recieving the 319 ABW guidon from Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brian, 25th Air Force commander, during a change of command ceremony for the wing June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

Col. Cameron Pringle, 319th Air Base Wing commander, assumes command in recieving the 319 ABW guidon from Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brian, 25th Air Force commander, during a change of command ceremony for the wing June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. Grand Forks AFB will continue to bring unmanned aerial systems support with intelligence, surviellance, and reconnaissance to combatant commands across the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez, caption by Senior Airman Elijaih Tiggs)

Col. Cameron Pringle, 319th Air Base Wing commander, recieves a first salute from the 319th Air Base Wing formation during a change of command ceremony for the wing June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

Col. Cameron Pringle, 319th Air Base Wing commander, recieves a first salute from the 319th Air Base Wing formation during a change of command ceremony for the wing June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. Grand Forks AFB will continue to bring unmanned aireal systems support with intelligence, surviellance, and reconnaissance to combatant commands across the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez, caption by Senior Airman Elijaih Tiggs)

The 319th Operations Group guidon replaces that of the 69th Reconnaissance Group June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

The 319th Operations Group guidon replaces that of the 69th Reconnaissance Group June 28, 2019, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. The 319 OG will continue to be responsible for conducting the RQ-4 Global Hawk mission, which provides a broad spectrum of intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance collection capability to support joint combatant forces in worldwide peacetime, contingency and wartime operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elijaih Tiggs caption by Senior Airman Elora J. Martinez)

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, ND --

The redesignation of the 319th Air Base Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, to the 319th Reconnaissance Wing took place on June 28, 2019.

The ceremony was attended by 25th Air Force Leadership, North Dakota Air National Guard Leadership, North Dakota congressional delegates and community leaders signifying the immense weight of importance to the Air Force and local community alike.

The redesignation, initiated by the commander of Air Combat Command, Gen. Mike Holmes, aligns Grand Forks AFB’s host wing and the 69th Reconnaissance Group. The 69 RG, which flies the high-altitude, remotely-piloted RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft, has been aligned under the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, California, since it initiated operations as a tenant at Grand Forks AFB in 2011.

Although there won’t be any changes to aircraft or operations at Beale AFB, changes at Grand Forks AFB are expected underway. Col. Cameron Pringle, 319th Reconnaissance Wing commander, assumed command prior to the redesignation ceremony and he presented a charge to the 319 RW.

“As it says on the patch of the 319th, we are the defenders of freedom, like those who have come before us, and I look forward to carrying that torch with you,” said Pringle. “We will together write the next chapter and the history of the 319th, and I am proud to serve with you. So let’s go ahead and carry that torch on together.”

The 69 RG mission and personnel now align under the 319 RW and the unit was redesignated as the 319th Operations Group, deactivating the 69th RG. The 319 OG will continue to execute the Global Hawk’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission in support of worldwide, full-spectrum operations. Maj. Gen. Mary F. O’Brien, 25th Air Force commander, officiated the change of command and the redesignation ceremony and she spoke of the significance of the redesignation.

“By aligning the group responsible for the RQ-4 operations under the wing responsible for the installation itself, we link the RQ-4 mission with support operations and we enhance capabilities, while looking at expanding those capabilities for the future,” said O’Brien. “So at the end of the day, our Warriors of the North can focus on what they do best, innovating, finding synergies, and building the collaborative partnerships necessary to make us an agile force, all while they are fighting from the forks.”