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9 RW holds change of command ceremony

Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force commander, presents the newest 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander Col. Phil Stewart with the wing’s guidon during a change of command ceremony at Beale Air Force Base Calif., May 10, 2012. Stewart severed as the wing’s vice commander prior to taking command from Brig. Gen. Paul McGillicuddy (right). (U.S. Air Force photo by John Schwab/Released)

Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force commander, presents the newest 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander Col. Phil Stewart with the wing’s guidon during a change of command ceremony at Beale Air Force Base Calif., May 10, 2012. Stewart severed as the wing’s vice commander prior to taking command from Brig. Gen. Paul McGillicuddy (right). (U.S. Air Force photo by John Schwab/Released)

Col. Phil Stewart (center), the newest 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander is congratulated by Lt. Gen. Robin Rand (left), 12th Air Force commander and out-going 9 RW commander, Brig. Gen. Paul McGillicuddy (right) during a change of command ceremony at Beale Air Force Base Calif., May 10, 2012. Rand was the presiding official for the event.  (U.S. Air Force photo by John Schwab/Released)

Col. Phil Stewart (center), the newest 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander is congratulated by Lt. Gen. Robin Rand (left), 12th Air Force commander and out-going 9 RW commander, Brig. Gen. Paul McGillicuddy (right) during a change of command ceremony at Beale Air Force Base Calif., May 10, 2012. Rand was the presiding official for the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Schwab/Released)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- Col. Phil Stewart took command of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing from Brig. Gen. Paul McGillicuddy during a change of command ceremony here May 10.

Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force commander, was the presiding official for the event. Rand spoke of McGillicuddy's outstanding leadership and performance as the 9 RW commander.

"He is a brilliant senior leader and represents what military service is all about," Rand said. "In the past two years this wing has flown 4,100 combat missions and logged 4,200 combat hours with an outstanding 96 percent mission effectiveness rate."

Following his remarks, Rand presented McGillicuddy with the Legion of Merit Medal. The medal citation read in part "...The 9th Reconnaissance Wing while under Brig. Gen. McGillicuddy supervision aced it's major compliance inspection by achieving a 99.8 percent compliance rate, the highest in Air Combat Command history."

The out-going commander expressed his appreciation for his Airmen and thanked all members of Team Beale for their contributions, sacrifices and continued support during
his two-year tour.

"I'm Inspired by our Airmen of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, they inspire me with their pride, passion and dedication," said McGillicuddy. "It truly was an honor and a privilege to serve as your wing commander."

McGillicuddy was then rendered a final salute by his wing, as part of a military tradition and sign of respect for out-going commanders.

McGillicuddy will assume command of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia.

Stewart congratulated McGillicuddy for the wing's outstanding performance, exceptional reputation and the honor he felt in being given the opportunity to be its newest commander.

"On your watch the mission of information superiority, which this wing provides has become the most valuable weapon system in the United Sates Air Force," said Stewart. "We will continue that mission."