911th MSG welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Hehnly
  • 911th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Col. Beena N. Maharaj took control of the 911th Mission Support Group during an assumption of command ceremony at the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, April 2, 2016.

Maharaj leads more than 700 citizen Airmen, civilians and contractors in six squadrons and five installation support functional areas to provide global capabilities and agile combat support directly to the warfighter. She is responsible for the management, readiness, training and operations of deployable security forces, cyber/communications, civil engineer, logistics, aerial port and force support personnel. Additionally, she provides day-to-day support for tactical airlift missions, ensuring a range of support and services for 1,300 personnel.

Prior to assuming command of the 911th Mission Support Group, she served as the 403rd Mission Support Group commander at Keesler Air Force base, Mississippi.

Commissioned in 1995, Maharaj has worked in a variety of staff and command positions during her Air Force career. Her career includes 20 years of service in the Air Force in the fields of equal opportunity, public affairs, manpower and personnel management, force development, programming, base/group command, along with staff tours at the Pentagon and HQ Air Force Reserve.

“I’ve worked with her before,” said Col. Jeffrey Van Dootingh. “When I saw that I had the chance to bring her to Pittsburgh, it was the first phone call I made. She’s a phenomenal leader, officer and all-around great person.”

After her warm welcome from the wing commander, Maharaj introduced herself to the MSG, emphasizing her positive outlook on the future, teamwork and inability to complete the mission alone.

“This is an exciting leadership opportunity for me and I know it comes with significant followership duties as well,” said Maharaj. “We have to do three things:  be trained and ready Airmen, develop and care for each other, and strive for continuous improvement.  The MSG team bring a diverse capabilities portfolio to the fight and is essential to the wing’s mission.”