By Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Longfellow | 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
THULE AIR BASE, Greenland — Col. Timothy J. Bos took command of the 821st Air Base Group from Col. Mafwa Kuvibidila in a change of command ceremony July 18, 2019 at Thule Air Base, Greenland.
Col. Thomas G. Falzarano, 21st Space Wing commander, presided over the transfer of command.
“Change of command ceremonies are always bittersweet occasions, as we bid farewell to a beloved commander and welcome a new member of the team and a new family,” Falzarano said. “But at Thule, changes of command are just a bit unique because here we largely replace the entire team at the same time.”
Many of those who worked side-by-side with Kuvibidila have departed, while many others are new to Thule and are still learning about the mission.
During the ceremony, Kuvibidila handed over the guidon to Falzarano, who in turn handed it to Bos, signifying the passing of command.
Change of command ceremonies are a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another. The passing of the guidon from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and its Airmen are never without official leadership, demonstrating a continuation of trust. It also signifies an allegiance of Airmen to their unit’s commander.
Bos is responsible for the administration and security of the Air Force’s largest overseas and the United States’ northernmost military installation, the Thule Defense Area. He guides international relations, ensuring compliance with all agreements between the U.S., Danish and Greenlandic governments.
“I am excited to learn all the very important missions at Thule and how the group supports these and other Arctic missions,” Bos said. “Even though I may not be everyone’s commander here, I am here to support, guide and mentor all of Team Thule.”
The mission of the 821st Air Base Group is to enable force projection, space superiority and scientific research in the Arctic Region for the United States and its allies through integrated base support and defense operations. The group operates and maintains the base in support of missile warning, space surveillance, and satellite command and control operations missions.
“I have been personally involved with many aspects of the missile warning and satellite command and control missions at the theater and combatant command levels throughout my career,” Bos said. “I am looking forward to sharing my 22 years of military experiences in order to enhance your effectiveness so each of you understand the impact of your work.”
The base operates the Department of Defense’s northernmost deep-water seaport as well as a 10,000-foot runway and associated airfield. The 821st also provides logistics resupply operations support for smaller military sites both in Greenland and northern Canada, as well as support for several arctic scientific studies.
Bos served as an operator, evaluator and instructor of the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and the Counter Communications weapon systems. He also served as a space planner and strategist and has had numerous assignments at the U.S. Air Force Air Staff, United States Strategic Command, and the National Reconnaissance Office.