Jefferson Barracks ANGS welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Elise Rich
  • 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs

In a time-honored ceremony that ensures continuity of leadership, the Missouri Air National Guard’s 131st Mission Support Group (MSG) conducted a change of command ceremony March 2, 2024, at Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Base in St. Louis.

The event, steeped in military protocol and significance, witnessed the passing of the torch from outgoing commander Col. William D. Miller to incoming commander Col. Daniel E. Nelsen.

Miller delivered a heartfelt farewell address to a packed ballroom. He expressed gratitude for the support of the more than 400 members in the group.

“First and foremost, I want to thank God; without the blessing he has bestowed on my family and I, this would not be possible,” said Miller. “A very special thank you to my family, friends and mentors for taking the time to be here today, and to those who couldn’t be here but have helped shape me over my career.”

Following Miller’s address, attention turned to the incoming commander as he accepted the group’s guidon from 131st Bomb Wing Commander Col. Jared Kennish, who presided over the ceremony.

In his speech, Nelsen outlined his plans and priorities for the group, mentioning process improvement, taking advantage of interoperability within the MSG squadrons, growing partnerships, and focusing on recruiting and retention.

“A great challenge facing not only the Mission Support Group, but the wing as a whole, the Missouri Air National Guard, the Army National Guard, the Air Force and indeed the entire Department of Defense is the gradual loss of service members,” said Nelsen. “Our Airmen are the center of gravity for all we do, and we must continue the strong efforts already underway across the wing to increase recruitment and retention.”

He went on to highlight the ever-changing landscape of the Missouri Air National Guard and how Airmen need to be ready to go when called upon.

“The missions we’re required to perform and the potential taskings we must be ready to support and must constantly exercise to be in shape to execute, demand the best preparation,” he said. “I know the 131st Mission Support Group is ready to meet these challenges.”

Nelsen previously served as the Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff and Director of Staff – Air at Missouri National Guard Headquarters, Jefferson City, Missouri. As the director, he oversaw the daily operations of headquarters staff and directed activities in joint planning and operations, human resource administration, policy guidance and implementation, logistics and communications support, intelligence, and security and infrastructure management to meet federal and state security objectives.