53rd Wing welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jessica C. Risma

The 53rd Wing welcomed their new commander, Col. Ryan Messer, during a change of command ceremony here June 21.

The ceremony's presiding officer, Brig. Gen. David Snoddy, U.S. Air Warfare Center commander, accepted the wing's guidon from Col. David W. Abba and passed it to Messer, symbolizing the beginning of his command of the 53rd WG.

“The uniformed, civilian and dependent members of the 53rd WG truly are national assets,” said Messer. “I am humbled by your accomplishments, amazed at your creativity and in awe of the innovations you produce. It is an honor to join your team as your new commander.”

Messer began by thanking his family and friends. Next, he took a moment to address the men and women newly under his command.

“As our world continues to become more complex, organizations and academics alike have endeavored to discover what makes great organizations truly great,” said Messer. “In this hangar it is easy to get distracted by the beautiful weapon systems parked beside the stage. Though they are marvels of engineering and ingenuity, they are not our asymmetric advantage in the next fight – all of you are.”

He said the team at the 53rd WG is essential to implementing the National Defense Strategy at the speed of relevance, that the wing “sets the pace for national security.”

“Our deliverable is not a test report, but ensuring our warriors always possess an asymmetric advantage over any enemy they face,” Messer continued. “As a team, we will fail fast in order to ensure those defending our Nation’s interests never fight a fair fight.”

Prior to his current assignment, Messer was the vice commander of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina.  He is a master navigator with more than 2,000 hours in the T-34, T-39, T-38, F-15E.

“Our vision is to help bring the future faster, I believe this wing is perfectly positioned to not only bring the future faster, but to define the future,” Messer closed.

The 53rd Wing is the primary operational test and evaluation wing for the U.S. Air Force. The wing provides tactical advantage to the warfighter at the speed of relevance. By testing new, operational capabilities, evaluating fielded capabilities, and optimizing electronic warfare capabilities, the 53rd Wing is bringing the future faster while answering the warfighter’s demands for integrated, multi-domain capabilities.