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Mission Support Group welcomes new commander

Lt. Col. Katherina Donovan assumed command of the 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group in a ceremony held at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 2, 2018.

Lt. Col. Katherina Donovan accepts the guidon from Col. Frank “Les” Bradfield, 919th Special Operations Wing commander, during an assumption of command ceremony at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 2, 2018. Donovan took command of the 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group, where she will be responsible for ensuring mission readiness of nearly 500 personnel and for providing support to Airmen, special operations aircraft and geographically separated units associated with the 919th SOW. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jodi Ames)

Lt. Col. Katherina Donovan assumed command of the 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group in a ceremony held at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 2, 2018.

Lt. Col. Katherina Donovan, 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group commander, salutes Col. Frank “Les” Bradfield, 919th Special Operations Wing commander, during an assumption of command ceremony at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 2, 2018. Donovan took command of the 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group, where she will be responsible for ensuring mission readiness of nearly 500 personnel and for providing support to Airmen, special operations aircraft and geographically separated units associated with the 919th SOW. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jodi Ames)

Lt. Col. Katherina Donovan assumed command of the 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group in a ceremony held at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 2, 2018.

Lt. Col. Katherina Donovan looks on during her assumption of command ceremony at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 2, 2018. Donovan took command of the 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group, where she will be responsible for ensuring mission readiness of nearly 500 personnel and for providing support to Airmen, special operations aircraft and geographically separated units associated with the 919th SOW. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jodi Ames)

Lt. Col. Katherina Donovan assumed command of the 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group in a ceremony held at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 2, 2018.

Col. Frank "Les" Bradfield III, 919th Special Operations Wing commander, and Lt. Col. Katherina Donovan stand at attention for the singing of the National Anthem during an assumption of command ceremony at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 2, 2018. Donovan took command of the 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group, where she will be responsible for ensuring mission readiness of nearly 500 personnel and for providing support to Airmen, special operations aircraft and geographically separated units associated with the 919th SOW. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jodi Ames)

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- Lt. Col. Kat Donovan assumed command of the 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group in a ceremony held here Dec. 2, 2018.

Col. Frank “Les” Bradfield III, 919th Special Operations Wing commander, presided over the ceremony.

“This is a proud day, a proud moment,” Bradfield said, speaking to a packed auditorium. “What I owe you is leadership, and that is exactly what you have standing before you on the stage today.”

In her most recent assignment, Donovan deployed as the deputy commander of the 386th Mission Support Group where she oversaw agile combat support for joint and coalition forces transitioning throughout Kuwait, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Lt. Col. Donovan comes to us from D.C. and fresh off of a combat deployment where she was the deputy MSG commander,” Bradfield said. “She has a depth and breadth that looks great on paper, but you’re going to see it in action here.”

Bradfield took the opportunity to praise mission support group Airmen for recent wins, including the 2018 Hennessy Award and a Department of Defense-level award for Airman and Family Readiness.

“The boss has told us to be ready, to be lethal, to be innovative,” he said. “That’s you—you make us ready, and you do it with some impressive flair.”

In her new role, Donovan is responsible for ensuring the mission readiness of nearly 500 personnel, including entities unique to Air Force Special Operations Command, such as Security Forces Deployed Aircraft Ground Response Element and special operations communications teams. As the mission support group commander, she is also charged with providing support for nearly 1,300 Airmen, special operations aircraft, and geographically separated units located at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

“I am humbled to assume command of the 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group,” Donovan told the audience. “My family and I are grateful and honored to serve the great team of military and civilian professionals and their families that are known as the Citizen Air Commandos.”

Prior to assuming command, Donovan was able to visit units throughout the group to meet Airmen and get acquainted with the mission.   

“Your enthusiasm and fire in your belly makes me proud to be part of such a dedicated team,” she said. “Together, I look forward to gaining your trust and providing the nation with the finest agile combat support the Air Force Reserve has to offer.