PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AIR RESERVE STATION, Pa. --
Col. Bryan M. Bailey took the helm of the 911th Airlift Wing during an assumption of command ceremony at the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, Aug. 7, 2022.
Bailey was previously the 911th Operations Group commander, a position he took on in April 2021. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2001 and served three tours on active duty. Since transferring to Air Force Reserve Command, he has served in roles such as director of operations, National Security Fellow, and Headquarters Air Force strategist.
The ceremony, which was held in the 911th AW’s new two-bay hangar, was officiated by Col. Michael Moeding, 4th Air Force vice commander.
“It is a proud and momentous moment and day when a new wing commander is minted,” said Moeding.
Bailey follows in the footsteps of former 911th AW commander Col. John F. Robinson, who recently assumed command of the 315th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. Bailey highlighted many of the events during Robinson’s tenure, from the wing’s participation in the Afghanistan evacuation to responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. He thanked Robinson for his leadership, mentorship, and compassion.
“Ladies and gentlemen, no one can replace John Robinson,” he said. “I certainly will not try. I stand here today merely his successor.”
During his speech, Bailey said that to him, leadership is not about the person in charge, but instead about the people who serve beside the leader who pledge their lives to something bigger than themselves.
“Every leader’s time at the helm fades, and no one person leads forever,” he said. “So today, we begin a new chapter in the history of the 911th, one that leads not to an ending, but to new beginnings.”
Moeding emphasized during his remarks that with this new beginning, the Steel Airmen of the 911th AW took on a new role and importance in Bailey’s life.
“Revel in this day, as tomorrow, the work gets tough,” Moeding said. “You will have amazing days, and you will have tough days. But no matter what, this wing is now an extension of your family. Care for them as you do your own.”
Bailey’s family and friends joined elected leaders, community partners, and hundreds of Steel Airmen in welcoming Bailey on this first of many days of command. In fact, his children each played an important part in the ceremony with his daughter, Alex, singing the National Anthem and his son, Christopher, playing the Air Force Song on his trumpet.
Moeding also made a point to honor Bailey’s father, retired Navy Cdr. Jack Bailey, on National Purple Heart Day for the two Purple Hearts he received for his service in the Vietnam War. Steel Airmen gave him a standing ovation.
“It was a pleasure to watch the wing stand and give you the welcome that you didn’t get when you came home,” Bailey said during his remarks.
The 911th AW’s focus continues to be on readiness to accomplish the mission even with the change in leadership, said Moeding.
“You are Pittsburgh’s Steel Wing. It is that strength of steel that you bring every day, your talents, your skills, your capabilities as Citizen Airmen that secure the blessings of liberty that founded this country,” said Moeding. “I task you to continue to do everything in your power to help Col. Bailey lead this wing in an effort to remain the best airlift wing in 4th Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, and across the Air Force Enterprise.”