A ceremony filled with military rituals put an end to another tradition at Sheppard Air Force Base.
Today Col.. Eberhard von Wintzingerode-Knorr relinquished command to Italian Paolo Baldasso. That change of power was history in the making.
"Holding this position, not by me of course but by different German officers for the last 32 years it's a strange situation that we have to pass it now to the first Italian. But I am more than confident that this will continue as it was," said von Wintzingerode-Knorr.
The 80th Operations Group is part of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program. The outgoing commander said one of his biggest accomplishments at Sheppard was doing everything he can to make sure others benefit from the program.
"I had to make clear to all nations that this program should stay as it is and should continue passed 2016 with all the changes, whether these are budget changes in all nations," said von Wintzingerode-Knorr.
Baldasso said, as the new commander, he's determined to fight for the same cause for the next three years. But he has other plans as well.
"Enjoy myself in this particular, special and unique international community. I hope to increase the partnership between all the nations and get to know as many people as I can," said Baldasso.
Baldasso said today was the highlight of his military career since this is the highest position a European can have in a flying assignment of an international team.