SUMTER, S.C. - Established in October 1943, the 495th FG trained several P-47 pilots during World War II. Spanning five detachments throughout the Air Force, the 495th FG is currently assigned more than 600 Airmen.
Col. Juris Jansons relinquished command to Col. James McCune during the historic event.
Maj. Gen. Jake Polumbo, Ninth Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony, saying, “The 495th is awesome when you think about its heritage and the way that it has impacted the United States.”
Jansons thanked his family for sticking with him throughout all of the challenges they faced. He also thanked the 20th Fighter Wing for hosting the 495th FG. And last, he thanked all of the Airmen he has commanded.
“Make no mistake, what you are doing is historic,” said Jansons. “You are out there in new environments setting up new teams and working with those teams. In 20 years you will walk away and see how you played a role in the defense of this country.”
After the transfer of the guidon, which symbolizes the transfer of authority from the outgoing to incoming commander, McCune thanked everyone attending the ceremony and spoke about the 495th FG mission.
“Thank you for allowing me to take this awesome responsibility,” said McCune. “There’s no doubt in my mind that members of this group will go to combat, we will do our country proud, and we will complete the mission.”
McCune is a command pilot with more than 2,800 flight hours. He has previously commanded the 310th Fighter Squadron and served as the 308th FS director of operations, Seventh Air Force chief of weapons and tactics, and was chief of the 388th FW weapons and tactics division. Before assuming command of the 495th FG, McCune was the chief of advanced platforms at the Pentagon.
“McCune has an impressive track record of success and brings a leadership style that will thrive,” said Polumbo.