Curry is the base’s second commander since it was renamed the 319th Reconnaissance Wing at the 319th Air Base two years ago on Monday. Curry thanked the former commander, Col. Cameron Pringle, and Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, commander of the 16th Air Force, as well as federal and local leaders, for the work they have done in supporting the new mission of recognition.
“Thank you for preparing me for success,” said Curry.
Monday’s ceremony, attended by nearly 300 people, marked a number of changes in command levels at the base, including 10 new officers in charge of units ranging from operations to medical and technical services. The ceremony also marked the 10th anniversary of the arrival of the first Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance vehicle, which arrived on May 26, 2011.
Curry told the Herald that assuming command of the base was “intimidating” and also a great responsibility, but that he was well prepared for the task.
“Our future was already bright, but it’s getting brighter day by day, that’s what I would say,” said Curry. “We have a lot of attention from our senior leadership on both the civilian and military sides, so I’m very happy to come in at this time. “
Pringle, shortly before he officially left command, said Grand Forks “aggressively” supported the base and its staff. He thanked the assembled officials, including Senator Kevin Cramer, RN.D., a representative from the office of Republican Senator John Hoeven, Mayor Brandon Bochenski and UND President Andrew Armacost, for their efforts to support the Global Mission Hawk. Pringle will continue to serve as an instructor at the National Defense University in Washington, DC
At the start of his outgoing remarks, Pringle ordered the airmen in training to keep themselves ‘at ease’, after four people were stunned during the ceremony. One person appeared to pass out and fell to the concrete floor of the hangar where the ceremony took place, causing audible cries of concern. These people were helped out of training to receive medical care.
Speaking after Pringle, Curry gave the same order in his own remarks. Airmen standing in formation are required to stand “at attention” or “parade rest”, rigorous postures that require concentration and physical effort. When the order to stay in a more comfortable position was given, the airmen could be seen shaking as they felt themselves in their legs and arms again.
The ceremony ended after Curry received the Command Flag, made his first salute as Commander to the staff, and the members sang the Airforce song, some with great pleasure.
Biography: Colonel Timothy Curry
Curry graduated from the United State Air Force Academy in 1999 and earned three master’s degrees.
He arrived at Grand Forks Air Force Base in June 2019, when he was Chief of Staff. Previously, he served as Executive Assistant and Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of Staff in Washington, DC, and before that, as the Commander of the 867th Attack Squadron, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.
He has received numerous decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal, and was promoted to colonel on February 1, 2020.