OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Nebraska --
The 2d Weather Support Squadron was activated in a ceremony in the Chief Master Sgt. Peter Morris Auditorium Feb. 17.
Lt. Col. Hugh J. Freestrom accepted command of the 2d Weather Support Squadron from Col. Jason E. Patla, 2d Weather Group commander, at a ceremony highlighted by the passing of a military guidon from group to squadron commander.
“Standing this organization up as the 2d Support Squadron -- the first of its kind and the only of its kind -- is a big deal,” Patla said.
The 2d WSS, previously Detachment 1 aligned directly under the group, represents the next stage of operational alignment under the 557th Weather Wing as it continues to transition from a Field Operating Agency to a wing.
“Detachment 1 was kind of in limbo,” Patla said. “There’s a lot of mission there, but where did it fit, how did it fit and what do we call it?”
The newly-formed squadron is tasked with handling a broad-spectrum of operational mission functions in support of the 2d WXG, 557th WW and larger national and international Department of Defense partnerships.
In addition to providing optimized command and control support to the 557th WW commander, the new support squadron is responsible for critical infrastructure, personnel support and crisis response.
Freestrom, who was previously the chief of weather operations under the Air Force Operations Group at the Pentagon, will transition from the Det. 1 commander to the first commander of the 2d WSS.
“We have the right guy leading us (the new squadron) and we’re going to keep him in there as long as we can,” said Patla.
The auditorium was full of active duty and civil service personnel to witness the historic event.
"Ladies and gentleman of the 2d Weather Support Squadron, this day is your day," said Freestrom upon officially taking command of the squadron. “The reason why I’m standing here is because of you.”
Freestrom will lead a group of more than 60 active duty and civil service personnel that make up the 2d WSS.
“You should be proud of all your accomplishments,” Freestrom said. “I can finally say that we have an official home.”