On June 14, Lieutenant Colonel Ian R. Barta relinquished command of the United States Cooperative Security Location (CSL), previously known as Forward Operating Locations (FOL) on Curaçao and Aruba to Lieutenant Colonel David C. Gorman. The Change of Command is a time-honored military tradition which symbolizes the continuation of leadership and unit identity despite the change in individual authority. Passing the ceremonial flag from the old commander to the new commander physically represents this transfer.
Present at the ceremony were Brigadier General Frank Boots, Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean, Colonel Cory R. Christoffer, Commander of the 612th Theater Operations Group and 474th Air Expeditionary Group, Headquarters Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern), Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Colonel Jonathan P. Grimm, Deputy Director of the USAF Acquisition Management and Integration Center (AMIC), and other invited guests.
Lieutenant Colonel Ian R. Barta distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States as Commander, 429th Expeditionary Operations Squadron and Detachment 2, 612th Theater Operations Group, Headquarters Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern), United States Cooperative Security Location Curacao.
During this period, Lt Col Ian Barta led 100 airmen and contractors responsible for the execution of sixteen-million-dollar base operations support contract in support of United States Southern Command’s aerial counter-narcotics mission and 4.5 billion dollars in joint forces assets. He ensured the success of 29 Department of Defense and Homeland Security deployments, executed more than 300 missions totaling 2600 flight hours, and enabled the seizure of 300 metric tons of narcotics valued at 7.5 billion dollars.
His successor, Lt Col David Gorman. was the Director of Operations of the 965th Airborne Air Control Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, and was responsible for leading and managing operations for worldwide employment of 265 personnel and six E-3G(II) aircraft and developing procedures for exercise and contingency plans supporting all combatant commanders.
The US SCL on Curacao and the 429th Expeditionary Operations Squadron support multinational aircraft operations that conduct detection, monitoring, and tracking missions that play an important role in counter-drug efforts in the region. US SCL Curaçao was established because of a multilateral agreement between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States whereby aircraft and crews deploy to the US SCL on a temporary basis to conduct counter-drug operations