Colonel Giorgio Santoro, ITAAF, Commander of the E-3A Component's Operations Wing, presided over the ceremony as Lieutenant Colonel Jason A. Whitford, USAAF
relinquished command of Flying Squadron One and Lieutenant Colonel Gary A. Axley, USAAF assumed command of the Tiger Squadron. Due to Covid-19 regulations, the ceremony took place on social distance.
History of Flying Squadron One
Flying Squadron One is one of two operational NATO AWACS Squadrons that comprise the NATO E-3A Component based at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany. Flying Squadron One was proudly activated in July 1981 as the first of five international flying squadrons of the NATO E-3A Component and the first operational unit trained and assembled. Since the creation of the Component, Squadron One set the standard and always taken the lead in operations and performance.
Full member NATO Tiger Association
Squadron One's distinguished history and tradition of tactical excellence culminated in its induction to the prestigious NATO Tiger Association. https://www.natotigers.org Throughout all of these efforts, Flying Squadron One has continually demonstrated the leadership and tactical proficiency to be called
"NATO'S ONE AND ONLY, NUMBER ONE SQUADRON".