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Missile wing holds change of command ceremony

U.S. Air Force Col. Jennifer Reeves, right, accepts command of the 341st Missile Wing from Maj. Gen. Fred Stoss, 20th Air Force commander, as Chief Master Sgt. Amber Mitchell, 341st MW guidon bearer, looks on during a change of command ceremony at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., June 19, 2018. Reeves’ previous assignment was 381st Training Group commander, Air Education and Training Command, at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. The 341st Missile Wing, headquartered at Malmstrom AFB, is one of three U.S. Air Force bases that maintains and operates the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Turner)

U.S. Air Force Col. Jennifer Reeves, right, accepts command of the 341st Missile Wing from Maj. Gen. Fred Stoss, 20th Air Force commander, as Chief Master Sgt. Amber Mitchell, 341st MW guidon bearer, looks on during a change of command ceremony at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., June 19, 2018. Reeves’ previous assignment was 381st Training Group commander, Air Education and Training Command, at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. The 341st Missile Wing, headquartered at Malmstrom AFB, is one of three U.S. Air Force bases that maintains and operates the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Turner)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Members of the 341st Missile Wing welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony June 19. During the ceremony, Col. Ron Allen, Jr. transferred command to Col. Jennifer Reeves.

Maj. Gen. Fred Stoss, 20th Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony before a crowd of Airmen, civilian and military dignitaries, and community leaders at the base’s three-bay hangar.

In his opening remarks, Stoss commended the wing’s Airmen for their contributions to the nuclear deterrence mission.

“What you do every day and every night is so important for the nation. The (intercontinental ballistic missile) mission leg of the triad is the bulk of the nation’s day-to-day nuclear alert force,” said Stoss. “Thanks for protecting our nation, for protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States, and for making the personal sacrifices of you and your families that this mission demands.”

With Stoss, Allen and Reeves took center stage for the ceremonial exchange of the wing’s guidon, which represents responsibility and authority being transferred from one officer to another in front of those present.

As the new commander, Reeves expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to lead the wing and spoke directly to the Airmen of the base.

“To the men and women of the 341st Missile Wing - today I’m filled with a number of emotions and I hope they speak well of our future together,” she said.

“I look forward to meeting you, to running the field, to being on alert, to being at guardmount, in the clinic and to being able to help serve this base,” Reeves continued. “I simply look forward to being a teammate on this amazing team.”

Reeves entered the Air Force through ROTC in 1994 after graduating from San Diego State University in 1993.

She has operated the Defense Support Program missile warning satellites, the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system and the Space-Based Infrared System. She served in the 533rd Training Squadron as Instructor Supervisor and Chief of Training Development, and brought space control capabilities to four combatant commands as the Chief of Wing Weapons and Tactics for the 21st Space Wing.

Reeves has served on five higher headquarters staffs and is a former 2nd Space Warning Squadron Commander, 50th Operations Group Deputy Commander, 381st Training Group Commander, and a Weapons Officer with multiple deployments in support of U.S. Central Command during Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve.

Before relinquishing command, Allen thanked the members of Malmstrom and the community.

“Thank you for supporting our mission and our Airmen, I couldn’t ask for better (community) partners,” said Allen. “This will always be home for (my wife) Angie and (my children) Kylie and Jackson."

Allen arrived as the 341st MW commander in 2016. He has been confirmed for the rank of brigadier general and will take his next position as Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.

“Team Malmstrom… whenever you were asked to step forward you did and you nailed it, and you’re carrying the hardware to prove it,” Allen continued. “Your most significant accomplishment is simply doing your job…standing tall on that unbroken wall, keeping your edge, remaining lethal, safe and sure while operating, maintaining, defending and supporting the world’s most powerful weapons system. And, just being a small part of that team that’s been doing that nonstop since October 1962 is without a doubt the thing you should be most proud of, because I certainly am.”