F. E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE – Colonel Brian Rico took command of the 90th Maintenance Group during a change of command ceremony here July 3, in the Maintenance High Bay on F. E. Warren Air Force Base.
Colonel Stacy Jo Huser, 90th Missile Wing commander, served as the presiding officer and opened her speech with a fable about the cultivation of ideas, an allegory using the farming of watermelon, and the purpose of seeds being to bear fruit.
“The moral of this story is exactly what Col. Buckner has done with the maintenance group these last two years,” said Huser. “He wasn’t satisfied to admire the group and be proud of his beautiful seed, and instead took a risk. He allowed ideas and the seeds of innovation to evolve and transform to their full potential.”
Colonel Greg Buckner, outgoing commander, will take command of the 52nd Munitions Maintenance Group at Spangdahlem Air Force Base, Germany.
Before his departure, Buckner took the time to thank the Airmen who worked tirelessly under his watch and acknowledging that he was unaware of the efforts of the missile community before coming to an ICBM wing from an aviation background.
“To the men and women of the 90th Maintenance Group – this mission set is the most difficult that I have ever experienced,” Buckner said. “I am embarrassed that I did not know how difficult it was, and yet fewer than 500 Airmen do it every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just to give you an idea about these people in the group, when we told them that they had to go from 16 hour work days back to 12, they were mad at us and that speaks to the dedication of these Airmen.”
Colonel Huser spoke to Rico’s capacity and her expectation that the Maintenance Group would continue to thrive under his capable leadership.
“I can tell you now that Col. Rico is the right man to take command of the 90th Maintenance Group,” said Huser. “He has already met the trifecta of missile wings and then some. He has immersed himself in all things ICBM, he’s seen our business from all angles and all locations and he brings a fresh, broad perspective that will move the maintenance group forward.”
Rico began his career as the OIC of Equipment, Vehicles, Electro-Mechanical Teams, Plans and Scheduling, and Maintenance Operations Sections at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. He is coming to F. E. Warren after a tour at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Previous to that, he served as the Deputy Commander for the 377th Maintenance Group at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.
Rico mentioned his excitement to take command of the 90 MXG and he’s happy to be back in the ICBM community.
“I have to tell you that there is no finer group of Americans,” said Rico. “After spending 22 years in this career field, I can tell you there is no place I would rather be.”
A change of command ceremony is a tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander.