Group commanders have MCAS Beaufort and stints at the Pentagon in common

Having filled four different duty posts since 2001at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Col. Gregg Brinegaron Wednesday handed the battle colors of Marine Aircraft Group 31 to another Marine with ties to Fightertown.

Brinegar stepped down Wednesday as the commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 31, relinquishing command to Col. David A. Robinson during a change of command ceremony at the base. MAG-31 oversees the day-to-day operations of MCAS Beaufort's six F-18 Hornet squadrons as well as Marine Aviations Logistics Squadron 31.

Brinegar next reports to the Pentagon, where he will work as the military assistant to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

After handing the "true mantle of command" -- a Blackberry -- to his replacement, Brinegar said he'd miss most the close working relationship between MAG-31, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and the 4,000 sailors and Marines under his command.

"Marines at other bases envy the relationship that we have and only those who have served in Beaufort can really understand that closeness," he said.

Having served as executive officer of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 and executive officer and commanding officer of VMFA-115, Brinegar was no stranger to Beaufort when he was tapped in August 2007 to become MAG-31's 57th commanding officer.

Neither is his replacement.

Robinson, a native of Winchester, Va., was assigned to VMFA-115 in May 1995for about four years and was assigned to VMFA (AW)-533 out of MCAS Beaufort during its January 2006 deployment to Al Asad Air Base. He was most recently assigned to the Pentagon where he worked for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the J-8 Force Structure, Resources and Assessment Directorate.

"I'm extremely humbled, excited and honored to be a part of the tremendous legacy of MAG-31," Robinson said. "I'm excited to be selected to lead the finest and most dedicated men and women our nation has to offer."