Guttmann assumes command of 231st CEF
By 1st Lt. Traci Howells, 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 17, 2020
JEFFERSON BARRACKS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mo. -- The 231st Civil Engineer Flight welcomed a new commander as Col. Darren Guttmann accepted command of the unit during a ceremony here July 12, 2020.
Col. Matthew Calhoun, the 131st Bomb Wing commander, presided over the assumption of command ceremony and commended Guttman for his success in leading the 231st through overseas deployments and disaster response missions at home.
“You have been a key leader in these accomplishments, but now you will have the greatest responsibility: commanding this unit,” Calhoun said. “I have the utmost confidence in your leadership.”
Calhoun also praised the 231st Airmen for their commitment to the mission.
“You all have demonstrated you are one of the finest and most called upon civil engineer flights in the entire Air Force,” he said. “I cannot emphasize this enough. You have answered our nation and state’s call over four decades, from deployments in Afghanistan to state emergency duty involving floods, hurricanes and tornadoes.”
An assumption of command is an age-old military tradition of the passing of unit flags to symbolize the transfer of leadership responsibilities. Though the flag was not physically passed during the ceremony, the event officially marked the transition of leadership to Guttmann from the previous commander, Col. John Miget, who recently retired.
Calhoun acknowledged the uniqueness of the event’s precautionary health protocols, and emphasized that, though not ideal, they do not take away from the significance of the occasion.
"It is necessary to have this event, regardless of the challenges, to demonstrate that the mission must go on, despite the fog and friction,” Calhoun said. “Similar to this weekend’s drill, we will find a way to train — to fly, fight and win, despite COVID-19, because our nation depends on it.”
During the ceremony, Guttmann thanked his family for their support and sacrifice. He then turned his attention to the Airmen of the 231st, sharing his priorities of family first, mission always.
“Your fellow Airmen are an important part of the family element,” he said. “Nurture each other in your personal and professional lives, look out for your Wingman and their family, and always strive to deliver your best to the 231st Civil Engineers and 131st Bomb Wing.”
Guttmann also shared his pledge to the members of his unit, assuring them that he would work hard to ensure they are trained and resourced to accomplish the mission whenever and wherever they are called upon.
“I look forward to many exciting years ahead for the 231st,” he said. “Thank you for putting your trust in me…let’s get to work.”