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33rd OG welcomes new commander

Air Force Col. Byron Pompa, incoming 33rd OG commander, stands in front of the audience during the 33rd OG change of command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 17, 2020. The 33rd OG commander is responsible for leading a 390-person group comprised of the 33rd Operations Support Squadron, the 337th Air Control Squadron, two intelligence formal training units, and the 58th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Heather Leveille)

Air Force Col. Byron Pompa, incoming 33rd OG commander, stands in front of the audience during the 33rd OG change of command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 17, 2020. The 33rd OG commander is responsible for leading a 390-person group comprised of the 33rd Operations Support Squadron, the 337th Air Control Squadron, two intelligence formal training units, and the 58th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Heather Leveille)

Air Force Col. Byron Pompa, incoming 33rd OG commander, addresses members of the 33rd OG, during the 33rd OG change of command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 17, 2020. The 33rd OG commander is responsible for leading a 390-person group comprised of the 33rd Operations Support Squadron, the 337th Air Control Squadron, two intelligence formal training units, and the 58th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Heather Leveille)

Air Force Col. Byron Pompa, incoming 33rd OG commander, addresses members of the 33rd OG, during the 33rd OG change of command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 17, 2020. The 33rd OG commander is responsible for leading a 390-person group comprised of the 33rd Operations Support Squadron, the 337th Air Control Squadron, two intelligence formal training units, and the 58th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Heather Leveille)

Air Force Col. Jon Wheeler, left, 33rd Fighter Wing commander, Col. Brian O’Neill, middle, outgoing 33rd Operations Group commander, and Col. Byron Pompa, incoming 33rd OG commander, right, stand at attention, during the 33rd OG change of command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 17, 2020. The change of command is the military’s formal transfer of command responsibility from one commander to the next. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Heather Leveille)

Air Force Col. Jon Wheeler, left, 33rd Fighter Wing commander, Col. Brian O’Neill, middle, outgoing 33rd Operations Group commander, and Col. Byron Pompa, incoming 33rd OG commander, right, stand at attention, during the 33rd OG change of command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 17, 2020. The change of command is the military’s formal transfer of command responsibility from one commander to the next. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Heather Leveille)

Air Force Col. Byron Pompa, incoming 33rd OG commander, salutes Col. Jon Wheeler, 33rd Fighter Wing commander, during the 33rd OG change of command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 17, 2020. Pompa rendered his first salute as the new 33rd OG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Heather Leveille)

Air Force Col. Byron Pompa, incoming 33rd OG commander, salutes Col. Jon Wheeler, 33rd Fighter Wing commander, during the 33rd OG change of command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 17, 2020. Pompa rendered his first salute as the new 33rd OG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Heather Leveille)

A 33rd OG crew chief reveals Col. Byron Popma’s name alongside the group’s flagship, during the 33rd OG change of command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 17, 2020. Pompa was previously the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Director of Operations, Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Heather Leveille)

A 33rd OG crew chief reveals Col. Byron Popma’s name alongside the group’s flagship, during the 33rd OG change of command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, July 17, 2020. Pompa was previously the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Director of Operations, Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Heather Leveille)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Members of the 33rd Operations Group welcomed their new commander during a change of command ceremony, July 17 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Col. Byron Pompa assumed command from Col. Brian O’Neill before presiding officer, Col. Jon Wheeler, commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing and a small gathering of socially distanced Airmen, family, and friends.  Later, the majority of the 33rd OG will be able to watch it from home. 

 Relinquishing command brings a close to O’Neill’s 23 years of service in the Air Force. 

 “The strength of the 33rd OG has and always will be its Airmen,” said Pompa. “I promise to give the best I can offer every day with full recognition that each Airman is equally as important with contributions equally valuable to this organization.”

Pompa is a command pilot with more than 2,900 flight hours in the F-16. He has served on multiple combat tours and flown combat missions in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Freedom’s Sentinel. Pompa comes to the 33rd OG after his previous role as Director of Operations, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Southwest Asia.

As the commander, Pompa will oversee all operations of the many squadrons within his command, consisting of the 58th Fighter Squadron, the 337th Air Control Squadron, the 33rd Operations Support Squadron, and the Air Force Special Operations Forces IFTU at Hurlburt Field, Florida.