Change of command for Ramstein's 19th BCD
Stars and Stripes August 1, 2006
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — The Army unit responsible for coordinating 15,000 airstrike requests in support of ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has a new commander.
Col. David R. Byrn assumed command of the 19th Battlefield Coordination Detachment from outgoing commander Col. James M. Waring at a Monday morning ceremony. Byrn’s last assignment was as deputy commander of the operations group at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif.
The 19th Battlefield Coordination Detachment is one of only four active-duty battlefield coordination detachments in the Army. Because of its role with the Air Force, the 19th BCD, which boasts just 40 soldiers, is stationed on Ramstein Air Base.
Under Waring’s command, the 19th BCD was deployed from September 2004 to September 2005 in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A letter from Gen. Tom Hobbins, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, was read at the ceremony thanking Waring for his exemplary contributions to the joint fight in the war on terrorism.
“As a direct result of your contributions, we are a more effective and lethal Air Force,” Hobbins’ letter read.
Battlefield coordination detachments serve as the ground force commander’s advocate for air power and process every request for air support in a designated theater, he said.
“If you read in the paper about an airstrike against enemy forces by an F-15 Strike Eagle or perhaps an F-18 Hornet off an aircraft carrier, the BCD played a role in that,” Waring said. “Or if you read about soldiers or cargo being transported somewhere in the CENTCOM AOR (Central Command area of responsibility), the BCD helped make that happen, too.”