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Squadrons realign, restructure missions

U. S. Air Force Lt. Col. Timothy Hood, 16th Special Operations Squadron commander, receives his first salute as commander during the 73rd Special Operations Squadron re-designation ceremony and 16th SOS change of command ceremony June 12, 2015 at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. The 16th SOS absorbed aircraft and personnel from the 73rd SOS, simultaneously inheriting a long and proud heritage from the 16th SOS. (U. S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chip Slack)

U. S. Air Force Lt. Col. Timothy Hood, 16th Special Operations Squadron commander, receives his first salute as commander during the 73rd Special Operations Squadron re-designation ceremony and 16th SOS change of command ceremony June 12, 2015 at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. The 16th SOS absorbed aircraft and personnel from the 73rd SOS, simultaneously inheriting a long and proud heritage from the 16th SOS. (U. S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chip Slack)

U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Orris, 27th Special Operations Group commander, hands the guideon to Lt. Col. Timothy Hood, incoming 16th Special Operations Squadron commander, during the 73rd Special Operations Squadron re-designation ceremony and 16th SOS change of command ceremony June 12, 2015 at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. The 16th SOS absorbed aircraft and personnel from the 73rd SOS, simultaneously inheriting a long and proud heritage from the 16th SOS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chip Slack)

U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Orris, 27th Special Operations Group commander, hands the guideon to Lt. Col. Timothy Hood, incoming 16th Special Operations Squadron commander, during the 73rd Special Operations Squadron re-designation ceremony and 16th SOS change of command ceremony June 12, 2015 at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. The 16th SOS absorbed aircraft and personnel from the 73rd SOS, simultaneously inheriting a long and proud heritage from the 16th SOS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chip Slack)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Air Commandos and wing leadership watched as the men and women of the 73rd Special Operations Squadron transitioned to the 16th Special Operations Squadron, while congratulating Lt. Col. Timothy Hood, the incoming 16th SOS commander and previously the Operations Officer of the 73rd SOS, who embarked on his journey to command the next chapter of the gunship legacy.

“This is the time of year in the Air Force when many changes occur,” said Col. Robert Orris, 27th Special Operations Group commander. “But today is different; today something is happening that is exceptionally rare as we are accomplishing three different activities, and each one is special and different in its own right.”

“We are saying goodbye to two exceptional commanders,” he continued. “In doing so, we are welcoming another exceptional officer to command and transferring a squadron’s rich heritage.”

Organized as the 73rd Aero Squadron on February 26, 1918 in Waco, Texas, the 73rd SOS has been re-designated, disbanded and reactivated multiple times to serve and suit the needs of the United States during times of war, and peace during the span of nearly a century.

“A squadron with almost 100 years of history does not just get inactivated” said Orris. “We will preserve this squadron and its guideon until it begins the next chapter in its phenomenal history.”

The 16th SOS now embarks on its new chapter of manning the AC-130W Stinger II.