Col. Jeffrey Hogan relinquished command of Marine Aircraft Group 26 to Col. Chris Boniface during a change of command ceremony on Marine Corps Air Station New River, July 7.
Hogan reported for command in June of 2015 and has maintained an excellent track record.
"We managed to maintain a very demanding operation tempo in the face of some real serious and significant logistical problems and do it safely," said Hogan. "We haven’t lost an aircraft, person, crewmember or passenger in the time I’ve been here."
In his speech Hogan addressed his Marines one last time.
"From me to you, the Marines out here today, and the people they represent, 3,000 plus Marines across the Marine Corps, I just want to say thank you."
The unit colors were passed from Hogan to Boniface, representing the passing of command.
"I was a squadron commander in the MAG, and I’ve been around the V-22 for a few years," said Boniface. "I’m bringing the leadership and experience from being squadron commander."
Boniface‘s plan is to focus on the safety of his Marines as well as maintain the readiness and responsiveness of the MAG.
"First, I want to take care of the Marines," said Boniface. "Secondly, I want to improve readiness, and I want to continue providing the awesome capabilities of the V-22 to the service and the joint force."
The safety record of MAG 26 is a source of pride for the command.
"The V-22 is a very safe aircraft as long as you maintain it and train correctly. We need to continue the great safety record," said Boniface.
Sgt. Maj. Steven Soares, sergeant major of MAG-26, has worked with Boniface while they were both part of the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron. He puts his faith in the Marines under Boniface’s charge.
"The Marines put a lot of hard work into keeping the MV-22s maintained but it pays off. The Marines keep them flying right."