MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The 23d Fighter Group (FG) held a change of command ceremony, July 19, 2019, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
The ceremony welcomed Col. Ryan Haden and said farewell to Col. Michael Curley.
“Colonel Haden, I could not think of a better Flying Tiger to lead the 23d FG,” said Col. Daniel Walls, 23d Wing commander. “You come with an impressive resume and I know you have the knowledge, experience and leadership to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. I look forward to the continued success of the group under your leadership.”
Haden assumes command of the Air Force’s largest A-10C Thunderbolt II fighter group that consists of two combat ready A-10C squadrons and an operation support squadron. The group ensures overall combat training and readiness for over 90 pilots and 180 support personnel.
The 23d FG has a rich and illustrious history which traces its roots back to the 23d Pursuit Group under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Clair L. Chennault.
“The flying tigers have a distinguished lineage, I love this group, this community and our mission,” said Haden. “I am humbled to be given this chance to serve once again in the 23d FG. There is only one flying tigers born of the American volunteer group, this is the premier fighter group and for us, it’s good to be home.”
Haden is no stranger to the 23d FG as he previously commanded the 74th Fighter Squadron and served as deputy commander for the 23d FG. Haden joins the 23d Fighter Group after serving as J5/8 plans division, Eastern Flank Branch Chief, United States European Command, Germany.
Curley wished Haden good luck as he took the reins of the 23d FG.
“I know Col. Haden is going to keep the 23d FG moving forward and I’m excited to see and hear what you accomplish.” Curley said.
The ceremony also highlighted the accomplishments of Curley who is retiring today after more than 24 years of military service.
“Curley your leadership and vision have been paramount to the success of the 23d FG,” said Walls. “Thank you for your steadfast dedication and passion for the mission and the people, you have had an indelible impact on the A-10, on those that have flown the A-10 and how this nation employs air power, you’re a true fighter pilot, leader and warrior.”