CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The 439th Airlift Wing is celebrating a Change of Command ceremony on Saturday morning. At 11:00 a.m. at Westover Air Reserve Base, Brigadier General Derin Scott Durham will transfer command of the 439th Airlift Wing to Colonel Gregory Buchanan. Buchanan has built an impressive resume, and now he’s ready to get to work at Westover Air Reserve Base.

The Change of Command ceremony is one of the military’s oldest traditions dating back to the 18th century.

“Bottom line is I’m here to serve the airmen, and take away those obstacles from the airmen because the airmen are the fight,” expressed Colonel Gregory D. Buchanan, “They’re the ones who are gonna go out there and execute the mission set that we need them to do. Our job is to get ready, be prepared when the nation calls because Westover will be the first to head out and execute the mission sets.”

Colonel Buchanan has been serving as the Commander of the 459th Air Refueling Wing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where he leads more than 1,300 military and civilian personnel in 20 units. Buchanan received his commission in 1995 through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at Miami University.

Earlier in his career, Buchanan served as an active-duty Naval Supply Officer. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 2000 and has held multiple leadership and staff positions in Air Force special operations, tactical airlift, strategic airlift, and air refueling at all levels of command and staff.

Buchanan also completed a limited active-duty tour in the Air Force Special Operations Command, where he served as an assistant squadron operations officer, deployed as a squadron commander, and served on the major command’s staff as a Standardization and Evaluation pilot.

And now Buchanan will lead 2,900 military and civilian personal at the largest Air Force Reserve base in the country, “So, this is a pinnacle career moment for me, and getting to serve these great airmen, especially in the perilous times we find ourselves in. So, getting a chance to defend this great country from this base is just awesome.”

Colonel Gregory D. Buchanan has received 24 major awards and decorations in his career that brought him all over the world, and now he can’t wait to continue to fight for freedom while based right here in western Massachusetts.