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"Birds of Prey" get new commander

Col. Anthony Hale, 704th Military Intelligence Brigade commander, left, presents the 743rd Military intelligence Battalion guidon to Lt. Col. Andrew Pelka, 743rd MI Battalion commander, signifying his assumption of command June 19, 2014, at the softball fields on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. During the ceremony, Pelka assumed command from Lt. Col. Gary Hausman after two years of service to the unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Col. Anthony Hale, 704th Military Intelligence Brigade commander, left, presents the 743rd Military intelligence Battalion guidon to Lt. Col. Andrew Pelka, 743rd MI Battalion commander, signifying his assumption of command June 19, 2014, at the softball fields on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. During the ceremony, Pelka assumed command from Lt. Col. Gary Hausman after two years of service to the unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Col. Anthony Hale, 704th Military Intelligence Brigade commander, left, receives the 743rd Military Intelligence Battalion guidon from Lt. Col. Gary Hausman signifying his relinquishing of command June 19, 2014, at the softball fields on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. During the ceremony Lt. Col. Andrew Pelka, 743rd MI Battalion commander, assumed command from Hausman after two years of service to the unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Col. Anthony Hale, 704th Military Intelligence Brigade commander, left, receives the 743rd Military Intelligence Battalion guidon from Lt. Col. Gary Hausman signifying his relinquishing of command June 19, 2014, at the softball fields on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. During the ceremony Lt. Col. Andrew Pelka, 743rd MI Battalion commander, assumed command from Hausman after two years of service to the unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

The command team performs a pass in review during the 743rd Military Intelliegence Battalion change of command ceremony June 19, 2014, at the softball fields on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Andrew Pelka, 743rd MI Battalion commander, assumed command from Lt. Col. Gary Hausman after two years of service to the unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

The command team performs a pass in review during the 743rd Military Intelliegence Battalion change of command ceremony June 19, 2014, at the softball fields on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Andrew Pelka, 743rd MI Battalion commander, assumed command from Lt. Col. Gary Hausman after two years of service to the unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- On the morning of June 19, the 743rd Military Intelligence Battalion had their unit change of command. The Birds of Prey stood proudly on the Buckley Air Force Base softball fields to say farewell to the outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Gary Hausman, and his family and welcome Lt. Col. Andrew Pekala, 743rd MI Battalion commander, and his family to the unit.

The ceremony started with the Battalion Adjutant bringing the troops to attention with the ceremonial "Adjutant's Call." During the ceremony, the outgoing commander and the incoming commander, along with Col. Anthony Hale, 704th Military Intelligence Brigade commander, inspected the troops and performed the customary passing of the guidon, which symbolizes the relinquishing of one command by the outgoing commander and the assumption of command by the incoming commander.

After the passing of the guidon, Hale recognized the hard work of Hausman and welcomed Pekala to the brigade team.

During his speech, Hale detailed how, "Hausman was instrumental in the success of the (mission), ensuring that his unit's efforts were maximized to meet the needs of the site intelligence mission, the Army and the unique abilities of his Soldiers."

After Hale, Hausman took the podium to recognize the successes of the battalion over the last two years and to say farewell to friends, family and colleagues.

"It is now my turn to deploy forward again," he proudly announced. "It is one of the greatest honors to serve an Army a time of war - and our nation is calling. Thank you to everyone for everything you do, Birds of Prey."

The unit wishes Hausman and his family the best during his deployment.

Pekala concluded the speeches by announcing to the battalion, "My family and I are deeply honored to be joining such a wonderful unit and Team Buckley."

The change of command concluded with the traditional Pass in Review, where all of the 743rd MI Battalion all marched by and saluted the new commander.

The change of command was supported by the 4th Infantry Division Band from Fort Carson. The battalion owes them a debt for making the event a success.

'Birds of Prey'
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