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KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Air Force Col. H. Brent Baker will assume command of the 18th Mission Support Group from Col. Thomas F. Berardinelli during a 9 a.m. change-of-command ceremony Friday in the AWACS hangar.

Berardinelli has commanded the group since August 2001. He is moving to Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., where he will serve as 460th Air Base Wing vice commander.

Baker comes to Kadena from Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., where he was chief of the communications support division in the avionics directorate. This will be his fourth Pacific tour.

After enlisting in the Air Force in 1979, Baker was commissioned a second lieutenant after graduating from Southern Illinois University in 1985 and completing officer’s training school.

He also completed Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College and Air War College, all at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He has master’s degrees from Central Michigan University in administration and Air Defense University in strategic studies.

The 18th Mission Support Group is the largest in the Air Force with almost 4,000 military and civilian members. The group includes six squadrons, the Okuma Joint Services Recreation Facility, the Noncommissioned Officer Academy and the Airman Leadership School.

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