Maj. Gen. Mark A. Kyle, 4th Air Force, Air Force Reserve commander, passes the 931st Air Refueling Group flag to Col. Mark S. Larson (at right), 931st ARG commander, during a change of command ceremony Saturday at McConnell Air Force Base.
Col. Mark S. Larson assumed command of the Air Force Reserve 931st Air Refueling Group at McConnell Air Force Base in a ceremony held Saturday.
Larson replaced Col. William H. Mason, who has served as commander of the 931st since July 2011. Mason has been assigned to serve as commander of the 459th Air Refueling Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
Prior to taking over command of the 931st, Larson served as the deputy commander of the 452nd Operations Group, March Air Reserve Base, Calif.
After the passing of the 931st guidon from Mason to Larson, signifying the change of command, Larson addressed his Airmen for the first time as their commander.
“As I’ve been here for the last week and met the members of the 931st, I have come to realize we are staged for success,” said Larson. “There are great people here and we have great opportunities before us. I am convinced that some of the finest people in the Air Force are right here.”
Larson also discussed the Total Force Initiatives at work between the Reserve 931st and the active-duty 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell.
“I’m excited about the coordination and support we get from our host unit. The 22nd Air Refueling Wing leadership knows what we need, understands how we can help and appreciates what we bring to the fight.”
As commander of the 931st Air Refueling Group, Larson oversees Kansas’ only Air Force Reserve associate unit. More than 600 Citizen Airmen are assigned to the 931st.
The 931st Air Refueling Group works alongside the active-duty 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base in support of Air Mobility Command’s worldwide air refueling mission to meet the needs of all U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine, and selected allied nations’ aircraft.
Larson was commissioned in 1985 through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Program at Utah State University in 1985. In 15 years of active duty service, he performed in a number of capacities, to include instructor pilot, flight commander, and aircraft commander in both the T-37 Tweet and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 2000 and has served as a KC-135 instructor pilot and evaluator and a C-17 Globemaster pilot.
Larson has flown numerous combat and combat support missions, ranging from Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm to Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. He is a command pilot with more than 4,200 hours.
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