7th Maintenance Group welcomes new commander Published May 16, 2022 By Senior Airman Josiah Brown 7th Maintenance Group DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Col. Joshua Pope assumed command of the 7th Maintenance Group from Col. Brady Wilkins during a change of command ceremony at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, May 13. Changes of command in the military are a tradition that formally represents the transfer of authority from one leader to another. The outgoing commander hands the command flag to the receiving commander to complete the transfer of command. As Maintenance Group commander, Col. Wilkins commanded 1,500 personnel responsible for maintaining 33 B-1 bombers, culminating in the execution of over 1,600 sorties and 5,205 flying hours. "Most importantly, I would like to give a special thanks to the men and women of the 7th Maintenance Group," said Col. Brady Wilkins, outgoing 7th Maintenance Group commander. "It's an honor to have served you as your commander for the last two years and be at the end of a successful command tour." Under Col. Wilkins's leadership, mission capable rates increased by 38 percent, aircraft attrition rates decreased by 20 percent, and 11 of 11 key maintenance indicators were met for the first time in over 10 years. Col. Wilkins said the 7th MXG will be in good hands. "There isn't a more qualified or better maintainer to take command of the 7th Maintenance Group," Col. Wilkins said. Col. Pope is a career Air Force Officer with over 21 years of service. He has commanded over 4,500 people during 11 assignments and three deployments. "Today quite simply is a dream come true for my family and me and I feel both humbled and honored to be standing here today," said Col. Pope. "The 7th maintenance group looks amazing and I know they are ready to answer the call if the flag ever goes up."