Col. Brian Budde Assumes Command of 477th Fighter Group

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Melissa Estevez
  • 477th Fighter Group Public Affairs

Major General Bryan R. Radliff, 10th Air Force commander presided as Col. Jonathan Gration Jr. relinquished command to Col. Brian “Notcho” Budde, at 1477, 3:17 pm, on May 5, 2023.

Change of command ceremonies allow subordinates to witness the formal change of responsibility of the unit from one officer to another. 

Budde formerly served as the 477th Fighter Group deputy commander. He earned his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2000. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and is a command pilot with more than 2,300 flying hours in the T-37, T-38, F-15 C/D, and F-22A.

“I am proud of the warriors in this Fighter Group, and I believe that we are the premier airpower provider," said Budde. "Let there be no doubt this is a combat organization, a combat machine, dedicated to providing combat airpower during increasingly dangerous times. There is no group of people that I'd rather entrust the mission to than the members of the 477th Fighter Group.”

Gration is set to retire May 6, 2023, alongside his wife Col. Julie Gration, after serving as the 477th Fighter Group commander since April 2021. Gration retires with a total of 23 years of service in the Air Force and Air Force Reserve combined.

“We need bold leaders to find out how to win against an increasingly capable adversary. The tip of that combat spear resides right here in this hanger-you!” said Gration. “Each one of you play a critical role in defeating the enemy and preserving our way of life.”

As commander of the 477th Fighter Group, Budde is responsible for Air Force Reserve Command's first F-22A Raptor unit. The unit is comprised of traditional reservists, air reserve technicians, active guard reservists and civilians. 

“We are a part time citizen airman, but we are ready to be full time when our nation calls,” said Radliff. “The men and woman of the Air Force Reserve command, 10 AF, and 477th Fighter Group stand by to be the force our nation requires, with the capabilities our nation desires at the cost our nation can afford. We recruit airmen but we retain families.”