354th EFS welcomes new commander to TSP

U.S. Air Force Col. Clinton Eichelberger, 355th Operations Group commander, passes the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron guidon to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde during a change-of-command ceremony May 15, 2015, on the flightline at Campia Turzii, Romania. Hayde now leads 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft and more than 300 assigned personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Clinton Eichelberger, 355th Operations Group commander, passes the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron guidon to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde during a change-of-command ceremony May 15, 2015, on the flightline at Campia Turzii, Romania. Hayde now leads 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft and more than 300 assigned personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls/Released)

A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron salutes during the playing of the U.S. and Romanian national anthems during a change-of-command ceremony May 15, 2015, on the flightline at Campia Turzii, Romania. The squadron's 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft currently supports NATO allies in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a demonstration of U.S. European Command, and U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa's continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls/Released)

A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron salutes during the playing of the U.S. and Romanian national anthems during a change-of-command ceremony May 15, 2015, on the flightline at Campia Turzii, Romania. The squadron's 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft currently supports NATO allies in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a demonstration of U.S. European Command, and U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa's continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde, 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander, salutes the 354th EFS for the first time during a change-of-command ceremony May 15, 2015, on the flightline at Campia Turzii, Romania. Hayde is a senior pilot with more than 1,800 flying hours including 323 hours in combat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde, 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander, salutes the 354th EFS for the first time during a change-of-command ceremony May 15, 2015, on the flightline at Campia Turzii, Romania. Hayde is a senior pilot with more than 1,800 flying hours including 323 hours in combat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde, 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander, prepares to address the 354th EFS during a change-of-command ceremony May 15, 2015, on the flightline, at Campia Turzii, Romania. A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding office to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde, 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander, prepares to address the 354th EFS during a change-of-command ceremony May 15, 2015, on the flightline, at Campia Turzii, Romania. A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding office to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls/Released)

CAMPIA TURZII, Romania - -- Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde took command of the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from Lt. Col. Steven Behmer at Campia Turzii, Romania, May 15, 2015, in the middle of the U.S. Air Force's inaugural European theater security package.

Col. Clinton Eichelberger, 355th Operations Group commander, Davis-Monthan Air Base, Arizona, presided over the change-of-command ceremony with more than 100 U.S. and Romanian Airmen in attendance.

Twelve A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft currently support NATO allies as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a demonstration of U.S. European Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa's continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region.

"(Hayde's) time and experience is exactly what the 354th EFS needs to continue its legacy as the premier close air support and combat search and rescue A-10 squadron in our U.S. Air Force," said Eichelberger. "I am confident you will build upon its legacy and you will do great things as Bulldog One."

Hayde, a senior pilot with more than 1,800 flying hours including 323 hours in combat, highlighted the role the more than 300 Airmen of his new squadron perform on a regular basis as part of the TSP throughout Eastern Europe.

"To the men and women of the 354 EFS, you are a part of an important mission," said Hayde during his first address to the squadron. "That mission has taken this squadron around Europe. We have trained together with our NATO allies. We have forward deployed to multiple locations and proven we can deploy munitions in close proximity to friendly troops in any weather, day or night.

"The United States is committed to the security and stability of Europe," he continued. "I look forward to working with you as we continue to show the world America is ready now."

A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding office to another.