21st Special Operations Squadron Change of Command

  • Published
  • 353 Special Operations Wing

A change of command ceremony was held on December 15, 2023, at Yokota Air Base, Japan, for the 21st Special Operations Squadron.

The ceremony, originally planned for last week, was postponed due to current events involving the CV-22 mishap that occurred on November 29, 2023, off the shore of Yakushima Island, Japan. Five 21st Special Operations Squadron teammates lost their lives in the mishap.

Lt. Col. Tyler Oldham, the outgoing commander, voluntarily extended his tour to continue serving his squadron through the devastating loss.

U.S. Air Force Col. Shawn Young, the commander of the 353rd Special Operations Wing, presided over the ceremony and transferred the wing’s guidon from U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tyler Oldham to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Matthew Davis, symbolizing the exchange of responsibility.

"In the wake of profound loss, the 21st Special Operations Squadron remains resilient,” said Young. “The memory of our fallen teammates will continue to shape the squadron, its people, and its mission. As we entrust the leadership of this unit to Lt. Col. Davis, let us find peace in his dedication and confidence in the men and women of the 21 SOS. His steady hand and expert guidance will help continue to navigate the squadron through this difficult time and toward a brighter future.”

Lt. Col. Davis is a senior pilot with over 2500 flight hours, including 633 combat hours in the CV-22B Osprey and the now-retired MC-130P Combat Shadow. Davis previously served as the 21st Special Operations Squadron's Director of Operations, and will now command the Air Force’s only CV-22B Squadron in the Pacific Theater.