Payton assumes command of 452nd Operational Support Squadron

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jessica Gross
  • 452 AMW Public Affairs

Lt. Col. Averie R. Payton assumed command of the 452nd Operational Support Squadron during a change of command ceremony that as conducted at the Cultural Resource Center(CRC), here at March Air Reserve Base, June 23.

Col. Melissa A. Coburn, 452nd Operations Group commander, presided over the change of command ceremony.

Coburn recalls the uniqueness of the squadron and the unit mission that involves various components.  "I looked up some information, " said Coburn. "The C-17 has over 3,000 flying hours and KC-135 has 2,200 flying hours.  We couldn't have done that without the 452nd OSS." 

As outgoing 452nd Operational Support Squadron Commander Col. Thomasmore J. Episcopio was relinquished of command, he recalled his time serving as a commander of the squadron over the past two years.  "This last tour was the highlight of my career" said Episcopio.

The ceremony involved Coburn's passing of the squadron's guide-on to Payton that signifies the formal invocation of responsibility, authority, and accountability to him. 

Payton began his military career at the United States Air Force Academy, where he was a distinguished graduate in 1999.  Payton has held extensive experience in flight operations, including flight instruction.   Payton holds the rating of Command Pilot, where he has completed more than 6,500 military flying hours.  Peyton's flying hours include the operation of T-37B, T-1A, and C-17A aircrafts.

As a part of his remarks, Peyton notes that his command of the 452nd OSS will mark his third assignment as a leader within an OSS unit.  "I guess I keep coming back to OSS," said Peyton.  Peyton reflected on his previous assignments to OSS units, where he claims his previous experience has provided him with a level of excitement to serve as commander of this particular unit.

Peyton made a point to address his new squadron in appreciation.  "I want to thank the men and women of OSS. Thank you for the privilege to let me lead you."

"I see a lot of change," said Peyton as he addressed the audience with a message of his vision looking forward. "Remember our core values and everything will be fine."

Peyton assumed command of the 452nd OSS; effective June 23, 2018.