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Jones takes command of 436th AW

Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, left, 18th Air Force commander, presents the 436th Airlift Wing guidon to Col. Matthew Jones, incoming 436th AW commander, during a change of command ceremony Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron, on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Upon taking command, Jones became the wing’s 35th commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, left, 18th Air Force commander, presents the 436th Airlift Wing guidon to Col. Matthew Jones, incoming 436th AW commander, during a change of command ceremony Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron, on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Upon taking command, Jones became the wing’s 35th commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Congressional delegates, civic leaders, family, guests, friends and Team Dover members observe the 436th Airlift Wing Change of Command ceremony Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Presiding officer for the ceremony was Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, 18th Air Force commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Congressional delegates, civic leaders, family, guests, friends and Team Dover members observe the 436th Airlift Wing Change of Command ceremony Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Presiding officer for the ceremony was Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, 18th Air Force commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Col. Matthew Jones, 436th Airlift Wing commander, receives his first salute from a formation of Team Dover members during the 436th AW Change of Command ceremony Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Jones became the wing’s 35th commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Col. Matthew Jones, 436th Airlift Wing commander, receives his first salute from a formation of Team Dover members during the 436th AW Change of Command ceremony Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Jones became the wing’s 35th commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Team Dover members stand in formation during the 436th Airlift Wing Change of Command ceremony Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron on Dover Air Force Base, Del. During the ceremony, Col. Joel Safranek relinquished command to Col. Matthew Jones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Team Dover members stand in formation during the 436th Airlift Wing Change of Command ceremony Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron on Dover Air Force Base, Del. During the ceremony, Col. Joel Safranek relinquished command to Col. Matthew Jones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

From left, Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, 18th Air Force commander, Col. Joel Safranek, outgoing 436 Airlift Wing commander and  Col. Matthew Jones, incoming 436th AW commander, stand at
attention during the 436th AW Change of Command ceremony
Jan 7, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Safranek relinquished command to Jones in a ceremony attended by friends, family, members of Team Dover, local civic leaders and distinguished visitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino)

From left, Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, 18th Air Force commander, Col. Joel Safranek, outgoing 436 Airlift Wing commander and Col. Matthew Jones, incoming 436th AW commander, stand at attention during the 436th AW Change of Command ceremony Jan 7, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Safranek relinquished command to Jones in a ceremony attended by friends, family, members of Team Dover, local civic leaders and distinguished visitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino)

Staff Sgt. Alicia Garcia, 436th Force Support Squadron Advanced Leadership School instructor, sings the national anthem during the 436th AW Change of Command ceremony Jan 7, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Col. Joel Safranek relinquished command to Col. Matthew Jones in a ceremony officiated by 18th Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino)

Staff Sgt. Alicia Garcia, 436th Force Support Squadron Advanced Leadership School instructor, sings the national anthem during the 436th AW Change of Command ceremony Jan 7, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Col. Joel Safranek relinquished command to Col. Matthew Jones in a ceremony officiated by 18th Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino)

The Dover Air Force Base Honor Guard presents the colors during the 436th AW Change of Command ceremony Jan 7, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. More than 100 Airmen from Dover participated in the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino)

The Dover Air Force Base Honor Guard presents the colors during the 436th AW Change of Command ceremony Jan 7, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. More than 100 Airmen from Dover participated in the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino)

Members of Team Dover attend the 436th Airlift Wing Change of
Command ceremony Jan 7, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.
Col. Joel Safranek relinquished command of the 436th AW to Col. Matthew Jones in the ceremony, which was officiated by Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, 18th Air Force commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino)

Members of Team Dover attend the 436th Airlift Wing Change of Command ceremony Jan 7, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Col. Joel Safranek relinquished command of the 436th AW to Col. Matthew Jones in the ceremony, which was officiated by Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, 18th Air Force commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino)

Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, 18th Air Force commander, speaks to Team Dover members, friends and family, guests, civic leaders and congressional delegates in attendance during the 436th Airlift Wing Change of Command ceremony Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron, on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Barrett presided over the ceremony in which Col. Joel Safranek relinquished command to Col. Matthew Jones. Jones became the wing’s 35th commander (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, 18th Air Force commander, speaks to Team Dover members, friends and family, guests, civic leaders and congressional delegates in attendance during the 436th Airlift Wing Change of Command ceremony Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron, on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Barrett presided over the ceremony in which Col. Joel Safranek relinquished command to Col. Matthew Jones. Jones became the wing’s 35th commander (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

The 436th Airlift Wing Honor Guard posts the colors during the 436th AW Change of Command Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron, on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Staff Sgt. Alicia Garcia, 436th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School instructor, performed the national anthem during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)
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The 436th Airlift Wing Honor Guard posts the colors during the 436th AW Change of Command Jan. 7, 2020, inside the 436th Aerial Port Squadron, on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Staff Sgt. Alicia Garcia, 436th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School instructor, performed the national anthem during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. --

Col. Matthew Jones took command of the 436th Airlift Wing from Col. Joel Safranek during a change of command ceremony at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, Jan. 7, 2020.

Jones takes command of the 436th AW following a two-year stint as the wing’s vice commander. His career highlights include being the first Air Force Chief of Staff Intermediate Developmental Education Scholar at Harvard and several tours of duty in the Pentagon at the Air Force and Defense Secretary levels. He is a command pilot with more than 2,000 flight hours in the T-37, T-1A and several variations of the C-5.

During his initial address as commander of the “Eagle Wing,” Jones addressed both Dover AFB and community members in unison, citing the importance of the relationships between the base and surrounding area.

“When [Air Mobility Command] chose to stray from the norm and allow the vice to ‘fly up’ to the command position, I committed that it not just be my family who benefits from the added time in place,” Jones said. “My commitment is that the relationships and partnerships the base has with the community are equally strengthened by the continuity of this longer than typical assignment.”

Maj. Gen. Sam Barrett, 18th Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony, passing the 436th AW guidon between commanders.

Barrett praised Jones’ talents and abilities to lead the wing, citing the strong support network at Dover AFB, and expressed confidence that members of the base will continue to thrive.

“Joel, I commend you for a job well done. Your leadership set the bar high as a warrior wing,” Barrett said. ”Matt, you’re the right man at the right time. When leading our great Airmen, you tell them what to do with confidence and vitality.”

Safranek departs the base for an assignment as deputy director of the Strategic Plans, Policy and Logistics Division within U.S. Transportation Command at Scott AFB, Illinois.

During his tenure, the wing flew more than 5,000 sorties, including over 1,100 in direct support of combat operations around the world. The base also hosted more than 40,000 people during the 2019 Thunder Over Dover Air Show and Open House, and earned the 2019 Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

“I’ve become a better person by being commander of this wing,” said Safranek in his final address to members of Dover AFB. “This assignment has been the highlight of my career. Dover [AFB] tails supported the President of the United States, carried wounded across the globe to safety and medical care, carried humanitarian relief supplies following a disaster and delivered warfighters to the fight. Dover, be proud of what you have done and I look forward to watching this wing continue to deliver excellence.”

Jones addressed the wing with a firm commitment to readiness, accountability and a desire to strive for excellence.

“To the Eagle Wing, my commitment to you is that while leading selflessly and fairly, I will not shy away from the bold leadership you deserve, and I will never forget that it is in our squadrons where Airmen thrive and the mission happens,” Jones said. “It is my desire, as the world’s premier airlift wing, to operate the best, care the most and have fun along the way.”