CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Army’s 655 Regional Support Group at Westover Air Reserve Base celebrated a change of command Sunday morning.
The change of command ceremony is one of the military’s oldest traditions dating back to the 18th century.
Incoming Commander Col. Lyle Ourada took over duties from Col. Jimmey Todd at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee. Col. Todd told 22News what he loved the most about being Commander of the 655 Regional Support Group.
“Being commander is the greatest because you’re the guy or gal that’s shaping the army and the future. You’re preparing these young soliders for the future,” Col. Todd said.
Col. Ourada has also served in the Vermont National Guard as well as the Pennsylvania National Guard. He told 22News that he never expected to receive this honor when he first began his military career.
“Being honest with you if you asked me this 10-20 years ago, do you ever think you’d be there? No I don’t think I’ll ever make it,” Ourada said. “It’s an honor, it’s a great privilege but it also comes with a lot of responsibilites.”
The 655 Regional Support Group contributed over 80 percent of its soliders during Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom after 9/11. The unit performs a number of operations worldwide during their deployments.