Returning Home to Take Command

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Amanda Ling
  • 920th Rescue Wing

Maj. Charles “Dan” assumed command of the 308th Rescue Squadron during a Change of Command Ceremony at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., July 11, 2020.

The 308th RQS, a unit within the 920th Rescue Wing, consists of CRO’s, PJ’s and their support team. The CRO’s conduct strategic, operational and tactical level planning, provide battle staff expertise, manage theater personnel recovery operations and conduct combat operations. Their career field was created to provide commissioned officer leadership to the PJs. Air Force PJs are the only DoD elite combat forces specifically organized, trained, equipped and postured to conduct full spectrum dedicated Personnel Recovery (PR) to include both conventional and unconventional combat rescue operations. These Battlefield Airmen are the most highly trained and versatile PR specialists in the world.  The 308th RQS has one of the highest operations tempos in the Air Force reserve.

Maj. Dan, a Combat Systems Officer (CRO), commissioned with the United States Army ROTC in 2003. During his last 17-years of service, he garnered experience in the Army and Air Force Officer Corps, with multiple combat deployments on three continents. Most recently, he served as the CRO Functional Area Manager (FAM) at Air Force Reserve Command Headquarters, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. As the FAM, he was responsible for ensuring the combat readiness of the CRO and Pararescuemen (PJ) enterprises which held him accountable for the management of all personnel and equipment with the Guardian Angel weapon system.

This isn’t the first time the new 308th commander will call the Space Coast home. Prior to serving as the FAM, the 308th RQS was his first unit of assignment as a new CRO after transferring from the Army.

“I’m humbled for the opportunity to be a part of and lead such an amazing organization,” the new commander said. “I feel like the prodigal son returning home. I’m reverent, proud and committed.”  

Lt. Col. Tim Hanks relinquished command of the 308th RQS to Maj. Dan after almost three years in command. Additionally, the ceremony marked the final day the Lt. Col. would serve in the United States Air Force concluding 27-years of committed service to his country.

“Tim did a phenomenal job of taking care of absolutely everyone,” the 920th Operations Group Commander said. “He actively recruited highly trained, highly professional individuals to be a part of the 308th RQS, making it the successful unit it is today.”

Based at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., the 920th RQW is the only Air Force Reserve Command personnel recovery wing. The wing trains and equips over 2,000 Airmen who carry out its mission, to search for, locate and recover U.S. Armed Forces personnel during military operations.

                                                                                                   “These Things We Do, That Others May Live”