Col. Sean Salene relinquished command of Marine Aircraft Group 29 to Col. Robert Morgan during a change of command ceremony held on Marine Corps Air Station New River, Feb. 10.
Salene took command of MAG-29 in June of 2015. During his command of MAG-29 he has travelled to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, and Norway, for training. He took part in Bold Alligator and supported the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force for Marine Week Nashville.
"(I’d like to leave) how incredibly proud I am of them; how incredibly proud I was to serve with them one more time," said Salene.
Salene interacted with his Marines to take care of their needs and let them know their vital role in the mission.
"Since Col. Salene has taken over command he has proven that he is a Marine’s Marine. When he goes out and talks to the Marines on the flight line, they stop what they’re doing to come over and shake his hand or they just want to hear what he has to say," said Sgt. Maj. John Elliott, sergeant major of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Africa.
"He truly believes in family first. That’s the reason his readiness with … (Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269) going forward because there’s a lot of buy in from the young Marines because they know they have a colonel who will take care of them."
During the ceremony, Salene passed the unit colors on to Morgan to represent the passing of authority and accountability for the unit officially relinquishing command of MAG-29 to Morgan.
"Relieving command is always bitter sweet. (The Marines and Sailors) have done so well. I am so proud of them," said Salene. "But like everything there’s a season. So, it’s time to go but I’m very confident in Col. (Robert) Morgan. "He’s prepared, he’s gracious, he’s ready to take it forward when the nation calls. He’ll be ready to respond and fight and win."
Morgan was previously the 2nd Marine Division Air Officer and most recently the Assistant Chief of Staff G-3.
"It’s exciting (to take command of MAG-29). With the (CH-53E Super Stallion, AH-1 Cobra, UH-1Y, and the Marine Wing Support Squadron) there’s nothing we can’t do," said Morgan. "The future’s here and we’re excited to be a part of it."
Morgan’s plan for the MAG and its members is to become ready for the battlefield.
"We’re going to focus on being successful on the battlefield. That means that we’ve got to be ready," said Morgan. "We’ve got to be ready as individual Marines. We’ve got to be ready as units and our helicopters and equipment needs to be ready as well."
Salene is the commanding officer of the SPMAGTF- CR-AF. He began his new position Feb. 11. Elliott will join him as the sergeant major for SPMAGTF-CR-AF.
"The reason I’m going forward is because of him. He has shown that he’s a strong commander," said Elliott. "Going forward with him in the next step as he goes out with the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force, being a grunt I’ll help by being a sounding board when he has questions."