174FW Mission Support Group Change of Command

  • Published
  • By Capt. Anthony L. Bucci
  • 174FW/Public Affairs
On Saturday the 5th of March a Change of Command ceremony at the 174th Fighter Wing took place marking the passing of command for the 174th FW Mission Support Group.

Col. Kevin W. Bradley 174th FW Commander officiated the Change of Command Ceremony that transferred command from Col. Harvey M. Van Wie, Jr. to Lt. Col. Earl A. Evans.

"Col. Van Wie has served as a great leader and mentor to those men and women of the 174th FW Mission Support Group. His leadership in the Wing's conversion from the F-16 to the MQ-9 mission was invaluable and critical to mission successfulness", said Bradley.

Col. Van Wie's military career began in 1970 as a member of the U. S. Air Force he was stationed at Luke AFB, AZ and joined the New York Air National Guard at Hancock Field in 1975. Col. Van Wie spent 16 years as an enlisted person achieving the rank of Senior Master Sgt. before being commissioned as a 2nd. Lt. Aircraft Maintenance Officer. He assumed Command of the 174th FW Mission Support Group in 2002. Col. Van Wie has been assigned as the Special Programs Project Officer overseeing the building of the Launch and Recovery Element for the MQ-9 Reaper to be located at Wheeler-Sack Army Air Force in Watertown, NY.

"I am especially proud to have been able to serve here at the 174th FW and more specifically to the men and women of the Mission Support Group who made my job of command here easy, I "Thank You" for your hard work and dedication to the mission", said Van Wie.

Lt. Col. Evans military career began in 1989 with the U. S. Air Force stationed at Cannon, AFB New Mexico assigned to the 27th Civil Engineering Squadron. In 2000 Lt. Col. Evans joined the 174th FW Civil Engineering Squadron after completing a tour of duty at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Most recently he served as the Commander of the 455th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

"I am extremely appreciative of the confidence Col. Bradley has shown in me by selecting me for this position of command and to Col. Van Wie for his leadership, mentorship and most importantly his friendship in preparing me for this greater responsibility", said Evans.

The Change of Command Ceremony is rooted in military history dating back to the 18th century during the reign of King Frederick the Great of Prussia. During this time organizational flags were developed with color arrangements and symbols unique to each particular unit. When the Change of Command took place, the outgoing Commander passed the flag to the individual assuming command. This gesture was accomplished in front of the unit so that all could see and witness their new leader assuming this dutiful position.