News>New commander for Air Force Reserve’s 731st Airlift Squadron
Lt. Col. Christopher Clay, left, accepts the 731st Airlift Squadron guideon from Col. Kurt Jones, 302nd Operations Group commander, during a change of command ceremony Jan. 5 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Clay, a native of Ankeny, Ia., becomes the new commander after spending the past year as the 731st’s chief pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Daniel Butterfield)
Lt. Col. Christopher Clay addresses the crowd after assuming command of the 731st Airlift Squadron Jan. 5 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Clay, a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, is a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nathan Federico)
Col. Kurt Jones, left, 302nd Operations Group commander, and Lt. Col. Steven Foss, present Foss’ wife, Melissa, with a certificate of appreciation following the lieutenant colonel’s retirement ceremony Jan. 5 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Foss, a native of Ft. Collins, Colo., retires as a master navigator with more than 4,500 flying hours. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Daniel Butterfield)
by Tech. Sgt. Daniel Butterfield
302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
2/12/2013 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Air Force Reservist and C-130 command pilot Lt. Col. Christopher Clay took charge of the Air Force Reserve Command's 731st Airlift Squadron from Lt. Col. Steven Foss during a change of command ceremony Jan. 5 here. Clay becomes commander after serving as the chief pilot of the 731st AS. Foss, a C-130 master navigator who served in the Air Force and Air Force Reserve for 23 years retired during a ceremony that immediately followed the change of command.
"He [Clay] has been the chief pilot for the last year, but he's a lot more than that to the squadron," said presiding official Col. Kurt Jones, 302nd Operations Group commander, who oversees three squadrons including the 731st AS. "He's been Steve's right hand man. He was the natural choice to take over this position."
"I am both honored and humbled, and with great pride I assume command of the finest airlift squadron in the United States Air Force. I look forward to working with everyone, ensuring the readiness of the 731st Airlift Squadron," said Clay during the ceremony.
The 731st Airlift Squadron, along with its Active Duty associate unit, 52nd AS, operates the wing's 12 C-130H3 Hercules for its mission of tactical airlift and airdrop, aeromedical evacuation and the Modular Airborne Firefighting System mission.
8/4/2013 2:57:27 PM ET Lt Col Christopher ClayCongratulations on assuming command of the 731st AS and wishing you and your squadron members safe and successful missions.John M. Winslow Jr. Col. Retired1st Squadron Commander of the 731st in Colorado Springs 1982