Florida’s 50th Area Support Group changes hands

Written by  //  April 26, 2010  //  Recent News

Col. Michael Calhoun takes over lead from Col. Richard Bedard

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (April 26, 2010) — The reins of the Florida National Guard’s 50th Area Support Group (ASG) changed hands during a ceremony in Homestead, Fla., April 25.

Incoming commander Col. Michael Calhoun took over for Col. Richard Bedard who commanded the group since 2007. Calhoun credited the many people throughout his career who helped him to become the officer he is today, including those in the 50th ASG of which Calhoun has been associated with for more than nine years.

“Today it’s about the 50th, the people who’ve invested in me and all of you who believed in me,” said Calhoun during the ceremony.

The 50th Area Support Group’s mission is to provide combat service support, and command and control, to military units. It is also responsible for physical security and rear area force protection. The group is currently made up of several subordinate units including: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 50th ASG; 930th Army Liaison Team; the 927th Corps Support Battalion; the 260th Military Intelligence Battalion (linguist); the 153rd Finance Management Company; and the 146th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. The 50th ASG also has an important mission within the state of Florida.

“The command position at the 50th ASG comes with a sense of urgency,” said Calhoun. “The 2010 hurricane season is right around the corner.” Calhoun most recently served as commander of the 211th Regiment, Regional Training Institute-Florida.

Soldiers from the 50th Area Support Group play an important role in Florida’s response to emergencies, providing logistics support to hurricane and disaster response throughout the state when called on by the governor. These Soldiers have provided assistance during several state missions in support of major storms in the past and continue to be ready for any upcoming state missions.

“During Hurricane Wilma, the governor, the nation and the state saw firsthand what an area support group does,” said Maj. Gen. Douglas Burnett, the adjutant general of Florida.

Col. Bedard assumed command in November 2007 and previously deployed with the 50th ASG in 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Also during the ceremony, Bedard received the Legion of Merit and the Florida Cross from Maj. Gen. Douglas Burnett for his service to the Florida National Guard.

During the ceremony, Bedard took one last opportunity to show his appreciation for those in the 50th ASG: “Thank you for wearing the uniform; thank you for serving and thank you for doing such a good job and being so professional while representing this command and the Florida National Guard.”