Col. Casey Cooley assumed command of the 307th Maintenance Group during a ceremony Saturday.

As commander of the 307th MXG, he will be responsible for program management, direction and daily guidance of more than 500 Reserve Citizen Airmen and active-duty service members charged with inspecting, repairing and maintaining 18, B-52 bombers.

“I am honored to be part of the unit and its storied history of training and operational excellence,” said Cooley.

During the ceremony, Col. Robert VanHoy II, 307th Bomb Wing commander, said Cooley brings a special element to the 307th MXG.

“Col. Cooley has a drive and sense of innovation that is going to help bring the 307th MXG to the next level,” said VanHoy. “He is going to be a phenomenal, phenomenal commander for the unit.”

Cooley comes to the 307th MXG after serving as the commander for the 908th MXG at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. since 2016.

The Michigan native gained his commission from the ROTC program at the University of Arizona after graduating from there in 1998.

He served on active duty for nine years before taking a full-time position with the Alabama Air National Guard in 2007.

“I’ve never served as a traditional reservist, but have the utmost respect for those Airmen that can take care of their civilian careers and then come in here and operate at such a high level,” said Cooley.

In spite of the challenges associated with military life, Cooley said he believes the unit will continue to thrive because of the Airmen.

“Military members are the best people in the country because they are part of less than one percent that choose to serve, and they know why they serve,” he said. “If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.”