Lieutenant Brigadier Damasceno takes charge of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) during a ceremony held this Monday (02), in Brasília (DF)

Air Lieutenant Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior handed over the command of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) to Air Lieutenant Brigadier Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno, during a ceremony that took place on Monday (January 2nd), at the Brasília Air Base (BABR).

The ceremony also marked the farewell to active duty Lieutenant Brigadier Baptista Junior – who has been in charge of the institution since April 2021.

[Click here to download the original image] The ceremony, presided over by the new Minister of Defense, José Múcio Monteiro Filho, was attended by the Acting Commander of the Brazilian Navy, Admiral Marcos Sampaio Olsen; the Commander of the Brazilian Army, Army General Júlio Cesar de Arruda; the Members of the Navy, Army and Air Force High Command; the former Minister of Air Force Lieutenant-Air Brigadier Lélio Viana Lôbo. The event was also attended by the former commander of the Air Force, Air Lieutenant Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Baptista, who is the father of Lieutenant Brigadier Baptista Junior and was in charge of FAB from December 21, 1999 to January 2, 2003. The following former Air Force Commanders were also at the ceremony: Air Lieutenants Juniti Saito, Nivaldo Luiz Rossato and Antonio Carlos Moretti Bermudez, as well as General Officers of the Armed Forces and guests.

With more than 47 years of dedication to FAB, Lieutenant-Brigadier Baptista [Click here to download the original image] Junior passed the Command Baton to Lieutenant-Brigadier Damasceno. In his speech, he thanked all those who contributed to his history within the Air Force: “Today, in my last gesture as Aeronautics Commander, my salute will seal the passage of the authorities and responsibilities I received from my predecessor to our new Commander and leader, Lieutenant Brigadier Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno, a friend of many decades, to whom I pledge my support and best wishes for success in the new phase of life,” he emphasized.

In the opportunity, Lieutenant-Brigadier Baptista Junior also thanked the many friends he has made, those he has been able to lead, and those who have become leaders in his heart. “To all the military and civilian personnel of the Air Force, during all my time as an active military, I hope to leave a little bit of myself in you. I will certainly carry you with me, forever, in my heart,” he added.

[For his part, Lieutenant Brigadier Damasceno highlighted: “It is with a sparkle in my eyes and pride in my heart that all of us here witness that the same opportunities given to the son of a Brigadier have been equally offered to the descendant of a Sergeant. Two friends, almost brothers; one from the Northeast, the other from Rio Grande do Sul; one a hunter, the other a patrolman; one a tricolor, the other a colorado. Singular differences, but many coincidences and convergences. Both were classmates, back in the 70s, at the Military School in Porto Alegre, both devoted body and soul to the Air Force,” he said.

[Click here to download the original image] The new Minister of Defense stressed the importance of the Air Force for the Nation and pointed out his duty with the Armed Forces. “I repeat my commitment to maintain the successful initiatives of my predecessors, an incessant search for the maintenance of the programs and projects of re-equipment of all branches of the Armed Forces in the increment of the operational capabilities of the Ministry of Defense, of scientific and technological development in favor of the fulfillment of our institutional missions in the interaction of all sectors of society and of international cooperation at all levels,” he emphasized.

[Click here to download the original image] The solemnity was enlivened by FAB operational aircraft that flew over Brasilia Air Base, such as the KC-390 Millennium, the F-39 Gripen, the F5-M, the E-99, R-99 and the C-99.

Passing of the Command Baton

The Baton is a symbol of authority and an insignia of command. It comes from ancient times, used by kings and great captains. On campaign, battles would only begin when the monarch or the general-in-chief made the signal with the stick. Thus, the act of transmitting this staff symbolizes the beginning of a new cycle of command of the Brazilian Air Force.


In the same ceremony, tributes were paid to Lieutenant Brigadier Baptista Junior. As a symbol of his farewell from active service and as a gesture of recognition and respect, Air Cadet David Saraiva Machado delivered to the General Officer, for definitive custody, the Air Force Cadet Sword, the starting point of his career.

After that, the former Commander was awarded with the Air Lieutenant Brigadier insignia, presented by Aviator Majors Nilson Rafael Oliveira Gasparello and Rodrigo Menacho Rosa, Officers who accompanied him as assistants during the last months of his career. Finally, the new Air Force Commander, Lieutenant-Brigadier Damasceno, and his wife, Mrs. Thaís Budó, gave Lieutenant-Brigadier Baptista Junior and his wife, Cristiane Baptista, respectively, a souvenir from the Brazilian Air Force, as a symbol of duty accomplished, and a bouquet of flowers, as a gesture of affection and consideration.

About the new Commander

Born in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Lieutenant Brigadier Damasceno joined the FAB in March 1976, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Brigadier in 2018.

[Click here to download the original image] With a military life history of more than four decades dedicated to the Air Force, the new Commander has headed and directed different Military Organizations (OM), having been Chief of the Operations Section of the Second Squadron of the Seventh Aviation Group (2º/7º GAV) – Phoenix Squadron; Chief of the Instruction and Doctrine Section of the Special Transport Group; Fourth Deputy Chief of Staff of the Air Force (4SC-EMAER); Assistant to the Minister of Aeronautics; Parliamentary Advisor of the Aeronautics Command; Chief of GC-2 of the Office of the Commander of the Air Force (GABAER); Assistant to the Commander of the Air Force; Commander of the Special Transport Group (GTE); Chief of the Public Relations Division of the Centro de Comunicação Social da Aeronáutica [Click here to download the original image] Aeronautics (CECOMSAER); Commander of the Brasilia Air Base (BABR); Defense and Aeronautics Attaché at the Brazilian Embassy in Paris (France); Defense and Aeronautics Attaché at the Brazilian Embassy in Brussels (Belgium); Chief of the Aeronautics Social Communication Center (CECOMSAER); Commander of the Fourth Regional Air Command (IV COMAR); Chief of the Office of the Commander of the Aeronautics; Secretary of Economics, Finance and Administration of the Aeronautics (SEFA), and the last position assumed by the General Officer was that of Chief of the Aeronautics General Staff (EMAER), in which he has been in charge since 2020.

Lieutenant Brigadier Damasceno is an operational pilot in Patrol, Rotary Wing and Transport Aviation, and has nearly 6 thousand hours of flight time in the following aircraft: TZ-13; T-23; T-25; C-95; P-95; U-7; VU-93; UH-50; VH-55; and VC-96.

Photo Unveiling 

On Monday morning, the military unveiling ceremony of Air Lieutenant Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Baptista Junior, at the Gallery of Portraits of Air Force Ministers and Commanders, took place in Brasilia (DF). Air Lieutenant Brigadier Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno, before assuming the Aeronautics Command, attended the ceremony. Members of the Aeronautics High Command and other General Officers also attended the ceremony.

The Portrait Gallery of the personalities who have guided the destiny of the Institution, for more than eight decades, is located at the A gate of the main building of the Air Force Command. Around it, there is the painting “Preito aos Jambocks”, in honor of the heroes of the Second World War, and the works “Batismo de Fogo” and “Os Pioneiros”, made and offered by the artist Army Colonel Pedro Paulo Cantalice Estigarríbia.

Text: Journalist Lieutenant Flávia Rocha

Photos: Petty Officer Joelson Nery, Sergeant Bianca Viol and Sergeant Viegas / CECOMSAER

Video: Sergeant Ronan, Sergeant Lucas, Sergeant Monica and Sergeant Renata / CECOMSAER

By admin