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    New Leadership Ascends During Airborne Change of Command



    Story by Spc. Natalie Pantalos 

    367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    The Army Reserve's 346th Tactical Psychological Operations Company based in Whitehall, Ohio conducted a change of command ceremony mid-flight over Camp Atterbury, Indiana on June 25, 2022, welcoming Maj. Nathan Mayo as the incoming commander, and bidding farewell to Maj. Lee Canafax as the outgoing commander.

    The ceremony was part of an airborne exercise with 150 soldiers participating from 12 different units. Since the 346th is an airborne company, Canafax thought it would be fitting to transition commanding officers onboard one of the two C-17 aircrafts used for the jump that day.

    “It is a tradition in airborne companies to conduct important ceremonies such as promotions or award presentations while in the air. This is the first time in several years that this company conducted a change of command ceremony in this way”, explained Canafax.

    Staff Sgt. Joanne Plescia, the company’s Training NCO, began the change of command ceremony during the ascent of the flight that took off from the Columbus Municipal Airport. Canafax handed off the unit guidon to Mayo who entrusted it to First Sgt. James Allender. Lt. Col. Michael Schwille, 15th Psychological Operations battalion commander was also present for the ceremony.

    There were minimal remarks during the ceremony due to the noise of the aircraft, but Canafax shared that he wanted the soldiers of the 346th to know that their leadership, and their accomplishments were what motivated him to be successful as their commander.

    “We’ve got a great group of NCOs and soldiers that really know their craft, they know their job, they know their responsibilities,” said Canafax. He believed that the experiences of the unit will prove valuable to Mayo and his agenda for the future.

    Canafax relinquished control after three years as the Company Commander. He will move on to the 15th Psychological Operations battalion in Cincinnati, Ohio as an operations officer.

    Mayo comes to the unit from the 15th Psychological Operations battalion where he was the assistant operations officer. His goals are to continue to collaborate with other airborne units and keep progressing the 346th’s airborne program, including having more soldiers complete the jumpmaster course.

    Mayo said he has witnessed from behind the scenes some of the steps the company has recently taken to tighten up and improve their training.

    “Maj. Canafax and First Sgt. Allender has definitely left me with one of the best companies possible to take over and keep moving forward.” stated Mayo.



    Date Taken: 06.25.2022
    Date Posted: 08.05.2022 10:36
    Story ID: 424695
    Location: CAMP ATTERBURY, IN, US 
    Hometown: WHITEHALL, OH, US

    Web Views: 7
    Downloads: 0