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49th IS receives new commander

During the Nov. 5, 2017 unit training assembly, Lt. Col. Jed S. Snarr took the helm of the 49th Intelligence Squadron as his proud family and unit members look on.

During the Nov. 5, 2017 unit training assembly, Lt. Col. Jed S. Snarr took the helm of the 49th Intelligence Squadron as his proud family and unit members look on. Hosted at the Bennie L. Davis Maintenance Facility, with the RC-135 V/W mission jet as the backdrop. Col. John D. McKaye, 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group commander, served as the presiding official. (courtesy photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- After six months of interim leadership by Assistant Director of Operations Maj. Demian Vieira de Souza and gaining a new squadron commander in February, the 49th Intelligence Squadron officially welcomed their new commander, Lt. Col. Jed S. Snarr.

During the unit training assembly, Nov. 5, Lt. Col. Jed S. Snarr took the helm as his proud family and unit members looked on. Hosted at the Bennie L. Davis Maintenance Facility, the presiding official, Col. John D. McKaye, 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group commander, recognized the significance of the day.

McKaye made light of the fact it had taken so long to have the ceremony.

“We wanted to try him out first before we made it permanent. I think we’ll keep him!”

55th Operations Group Commander Col. Joseph Santucci, noted, “Most units have their change of command on the stage with the American Flag as the backdrop. Incorporating the actual sensor platform was great idea!”

The 49th Intelligence Squadron’s first commander, Lt. Col. Michael Sieg, sent his congratulatory best wishes to Lt. Col. Snarr.

"It was a distinct honor to serve the men and women of the 49th Intelligence Squadron. Together, we grew from a detachment of two Airmen to a 72-Airmen strong fully operational capable unit in about two years. I know that Lt. Col. Snarr is the right person to bring the unit to new heights. He has already succeeded in deploying eight more volunteers in support of RC-135, precisely what the 49th was created for.”

The 49th IS was first in opening the door to pipeline training for airborne cryptologic operators; which take more than two years to train.

“We are now more capable of providing volunteer support to our active duty partners with trained and qualified RC-135 aircrew and ground intelligence personnel,” said Lt. Col. Snarr.

The 49th IS provides mission-ready Airmen in support of the 97th Intelligence Squadron and is subordinate to the 655th ISRG at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The 49th IS is the only Air Force Reserve Command unit directly providing intelligence operators on the RC-135V/W Rivet Joint.

“The Air Force invested years in training these Airmen. Keeping them in the RC-135 community allows them to share that experience and knowledge with their active duty counterparts and continue to grow as reservists,” said Maj. Kenneth D. Larson, chief of training. “Our airmen are positioned to provide their unique skills to commanders around the world supporting exercises and real world contingencies.”

The delayed timeline for Lt. Col. Snarr to officially receive the 49th IS guidon was driven in part by AFRC’s intense growth objectives -- activating three new squadrons -- across the 655th ISR Group: 23rd IS, 512th IS and 820th IS in Texas, Maryland and Nebraska, respectively.