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Col. Thomas Barnett Takes over 543 ISRG

Col. Kevin Dixon, 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing commander, passes the guidon to Col. Thomas E. Barnett, commander, 543rd ISR Group during the 543rd ISRG change of command ceremony July 7, 2015, at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland, Texas. A change of command ceremony is a tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Col. Kevin Dixon, 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing commander, passes the guidon to Col. Thomas E. Barnett, commander, 543rd ISR Group during the 543rd ISRG change of command ceremony July 7, 2015, at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland, Texas. A change of command ceremony is a tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Col. Thomas E. Barnett assumed command of the 543rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group 'Warrior Scouts' during the unit's change of command ceremony at Arnold Hall,  July 7.  The ceremony was presided over by Col. Kevin D. Dixon, who at the time of the ceremony was the 70th ISR Wing commander.

Barnett took the responsibility of leading more than 800 support and intelligence personnel from outgoing group commander, Col. Robert C. Krause.

The 543rd ISRG consists of the 668th Alterations and Installation Squadron, 531st Intelligence Squadron, and the 93rd Intelligence Squadron, fulfilling intelligence and information technology missions at  National Security Agency-Texas and around the globe.

It has been a month since Barnett took command of the 543rd ISRG, who now has firsthand experience in leading the diverse and proficient group of Airmen.

"It's an amazingly talented group of  outstanding Airmen and DoD Civilians making tremendous contributions benefitting combatant commands across the globe...and spanning the breadth of operations from ISR & cyber to engineering and technology," said Barnett.

Barnett comes to lead the 'Warrior Scouts' after serving as the Signals Intelligence director at NSA Hawaii. With his new role, Barnett plans to uphold the 70th ISR Wings mission with specific goals focused on the growth of National Tactical Integration and the Distributed Mission Systems and for the institutionalization of the Integrated Mission Leader positions.

"The key to the success of every initiative is the growth and development of our Airmen, their tradecraft and their ability to innovatively team with our NSA partners and joint service team to excel at our duties for the U.S. Air Force and the ISR community as a whole," explained Barnett.

When it comes to commander expectations and priorities, Barnett plans to emphasize the TEAM concept throughout his unit.

He went on to comment, we are our [Joint force air component [commander's] focal point so we must continue to advocate the air power perspective. At the end of the day, we all exist here to support our National-level policy makers and the Joint combatant commanders...and we do that best as a TEAM of professionals.

"The innovative approach and enthusiasm of our Airmen, as well as our civilian and joint service team mates is overwhelming," said Barnett. "I'm proud to be part of such a winning Team."