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New commander set to lead Arizona Predator unit

Brig. Gen. Michael Colangelo, commander of the Arizona Air National Guard, left, passes the 214th Reconnaissance Group guideon to Lt. Col. Michael McGuire as a symbol of his assumption of command Feb. 6. Colonel McGuire most recently commanded the 148th Fighter Squadron at Tucson International Airport where he was responsible for training F-16E pilots from the United Arab Emirates. He now commands the Air Guard's Predator unit at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base where Airmen support or fly combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan on a 24-hour, seven-days-per-week schedule. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

Brig. Gen. Michael Colangelo, commander of the Arizona Air National Guard, left, passes the 214th Reconnaissance Group guideon to Lt. Col. Michael McGuire as a symbol of his assumption of command Feb. 6. Colonel McGuire most recently commanded the 148th Fighter Squadron at Tucson International Airport where he was responsible for training F-16E pilots from the United Arab Emirates. He now commands the Air Guard's Predator unit at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base where Airmen support or fly combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan on a 24-hour, seven-days-per-week schedule. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The 214th Reconnaissance Group welcomed a new commander during an assumption of command ceremony here Feb. 6.

Unit members, family and friends of Lt. Col. Michael McGuire attended the ceremony officiated by Brig. Gen. Michael Colangelo, commander of the Arizona Air National Guard.

Colonel McGuire last commanded the 148th Fighter Squadron at Tucson International Airport, a unit which is responsible for training pilots from the United Arab Emirates in the F-16E fighter aircraft.

General Colangelo said selection of a new commander for the 214th is a serious decision and one that considers the challenges that confront the Air Force and its people. Colonel McGuire has all the qualities of a great leader and is the perfect match for a great organization, he said.

"He's been successful in everything he's ever done. He's flown combat missions in Desert Storm, is a fighter weapons graduate and is now leading an organization that takes the fight to the enemy every minute of every day," said the general.

Colonel McGuire expressed his gratitude to the 162nd Fighter Wing, 12th Air Force and Davis-Monthan for their continued support of the 214th mission. He also addressed the men and women of the 214th and stated he was "honored and privileged to be selected as their new commander."

"This presentation is ultimately for the members of the 214th. It is my duty to serve you as your commander, and my promise to you is that I will do everything I can to support us taking care of Airmen and doing the mission. We will continue the important work of taking care of those with boots on the ground," said Colonel McGuire.

The 214th Reconnaissance Group is an MQ-1B predator unit that formally activated July 31, 2007, at Davis-Monthan. More than 100 assigned Guardsmen support or fly medium-altitude, long endurance, remotely piloted aircraft in combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan via satellite from Tucson, Ariz.

The future of the 214th and its capabilities are expanding and a permanent facility to support that growth is projected to be completed at Davis-Monthan in early 2011.