Lt. Col. Paul Tappen, who was previously with the 49thMDB returns to Fort Greely and the Delta Junction community to take command of the 49thMissile Defense Battalion.

With the passing of the 49th Missile Defense Battalion colors, Lt. Col. Orlando Ortega relinquished command to Lt. Col. Paul Tappen during a ceremony at Fort Greely June 13. 

The passing of the colors represents the transfer of authority from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander. 

Col. Chris Williams, commander, 100th Missile Defense Brigade and Col. Joel Gilbert, commander, 38th Troop Command presided over the ceremony which was steeped in military history and tradition to install the newest commander of the organization responsible for operating and securing Fort Greely’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system. 

During the ceremony, the 49th MDB was awarded the Army Superior Unit award. The award recognizes outstanding meritorious performance by a unit during peacetime, in which they display meritorious performance of a difficult and challenging mission carried out under extraordinary circumstances.

The 49th MDB is an Alaska Army National Guard unit that is permanently on active duty at Fort Greely, as part of the 100th Missile Defense Brigade (GMD).