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New commander for the 53rd Wing

53rd Wing change of command

Col. Matthew Bradley stands in front of the audience as the new 53rd Wing commander during the wing’s change of command ceremony July 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Col. Ryan Messer passed the wing guidon to Bradley, who was assigned to the wing three other times in various roles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

53rd Wing change of command

Col. Matthew Bradley speaks to his Airmen for the first time as their commander during the 53rd Wing’s change of command ceremony July 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Col. Ryan Messer passed the wing guidon to Bradley, who was assigned to the wing three other times in various roles during his career. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

53rd Wing change of command

Air Force Warfare Center and 53rd Wing leadership salute the colors during the wing’s change of command ceremony July 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Col. Ryan Messer passed the wing guidon to Col. Matthew Bradley, who was assigned to the wing three other times in various roles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

53rd Wing change of command

Col. Ryan Messer salutes his wing for a final time during the 53rd Wing’s change of command ceremony July 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Messer passed the wing guidon to Col. Matthew Bradley, who was assigned to the wing three other times in various roles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

53rd Wing change of command

Maj. Gen. Case Cunningham, Air Force Warfare Center commander, speaks to 53rd Wing Airmen during the wing’s change of command ceremony July 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Col. Ryan Messer passed the wing guidon to Col. Matthew Bradley, who was assigned to the wing three other times in various roles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

53rd Wing change of command

Eglin’s honor guard wait to bring in the colors prior to the 53rd Wing’s change of command ceremony July 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Col. Ryan Messer passed the wing guidon to Col. Matthew Bradley, who was assigned to the wing three other times in various roles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

53rd Wing change of command

Col. Sean Neitzke calls out an order to a 53rd Wing formation during the wing’s change of command ceremony July 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Col. Ryan Messer passed the wing guidon to Col. Matthew Bradley, who was assigned to the wing three other times in various roles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

53rd Wing change of command

Col. Matthew Bradley speaks to his Airmen for the first time as their commander during the 53rd Wing’s change of command ceremony July 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Col. Ryan Messer passed the wing guidon to Bradley, who was assigned to the wing three other times in various roles during his career. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

53rd Wing change of command

Maj. Gen. Case Cunningham, Air Force Warfare Center commander, passes the 53rd Wing guidon to its new commander, Col. Matthew Bradley, during the wing’s change of command ceremony July 16 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Col. Ryan Messer conceded the wing guidon to Bradley, who was assigned to the wing three other times in various roles during his career. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The 53rd Wing welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony here July 16.

Col. Ryan Messer passed the guidon to the wing’s new leader, Col. Matthew Bradley. The wing also bid farewell to Messer, who leaves for Virginia as the Air Combat Command A5 deputy director.

The presiding officer, Maj. Gen. Case Cunningham, Air Force Warfare Center commander, spoke about the history and significance of the 53rd Wing and its ever-changing mission in his opening remarks.

“(Though the mission continues to evolve), what hasn’t changed is the scale, size, scope and impact of the missions here at Eglin and the numerous locations across the United States,” he said.  “Simply, the Airmen of the 53rd Wing are the life blood of the combat capability of our Air Force.”

He thanked Messer for an impressive job as leader and assured wing members in attendance and watching virtually, the wing was in capable, familiar hands in Bradley.

A command pilot with more than 1,400 flight hours, Bradley is no stranger to the wing’s mission. The 23-year veteran served in positions within the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron and 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group.

“Its great to be back,” said Bradley to the members of his wing after accepting the guidon.  “I will strive to give my best to this wing every day and serve the members of the 53rd Wing. I am excited about the next years and continuing to provide the tactical advantage to the warfighters at the speed of relevance.”

Bradley received his commission from the Air Force Academy in 1997. His career accomplishments include becoming Chief of Air Dominance for the Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs and Chief of Strategy Guidance at the 609th Air Operations Center in Qatar.  He is also a Southern Watch and Noble Eagle veteran.

“(Col. Bradley) stacked up an impressive list of accomplishments and accolades at critical positions that make him an absolutely perfect fit to carry on the traditions of 53rd Wing excellence,” said Cunningham.

The colonel comes to Eglin after serving as the commander of the 3rd Operations Group, at Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson Alaska.