80th Operations Group change of command

80th Flying Training Wing commander, Col. Gregory Keeton, officiates the 80th Operations Group change of command ceremony at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, July 6, 2016. Italian Air Force Col. Paolo Baldoasso, 80th Operations Group commander, relingquished his command to German Air Force Col. Bernhard Hey. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Elizabeth Colunga)

80th Flying Training Wing commander, Col. Gregory Keeton, officiates the 80th Operations Group change of command ceremony at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, July 6, 2016. Italian Air Force Col. Paolo Baldoasso, 80th Operations Group commander, relingquished his command to German Air Force Col. Bernhard Hey. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Elizabeth Colunga)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

80th Flying Training Wing commander, Col. Gregory Keeton, officiated the 80th Operations Group change of command ceremony at Sheppard Air Force Base on July 6, 2016.

Italian Air Force Col. Paolo Baldasso, 80th Operations Group commander, relinquished command to German Air Force Col. Bernhard Hey. Baldasso was the first Italian Air Force commander to lead the 80th Operations Group in the 35-year history of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program.

 

Baldasso, a combat pilot with 5,300 flying hours, was presented the Legion of Merit and embarks on a new assignment in Rome, Italy as the Chief of Training, Combat Air Force.

 

Hey began his pilot career as an ENJJPT undergraduate pilot in 1985 and arrives from his most recent command in Germany as the Commander of the 2nd Training Division for the German Air Force Officer School.

Hey is a command pilot with 3,300 flying hours in the T-37, T-38, Alpha Jet, Tornado and the T-6.

 

Hey recently completed the T-6 instructor pilot program at Sheppard AFB, in preparation for his command duties as the 80th Operations Group commander, which include leading more than 800 personnel, ensuring 600 pilots graduate and managing flying operations for more than 60,000 flying hours per year. 

 

ENJJPT is the  only internationally manned and managed undergraduate pilot training program in the world, celebrating its 35th anniversary and graduating more than 7,100 fighter pilots for the NATO alliance.