The new commander of the 78th Air Base Wing at Robins Air Force Base took over on Wednesday.
It was a festive atmosphere at the Museum of Aviation as Colonel Jeff King prepared to hand over command of the 78th Air Base Wing at Robins.
“To the men and women of the Air Base Wing, I'm so proud of you, thank you for all that you do for each and for our nation. It has been my highest honor to serve you and to serve with you,” King said while addressing the crowd.
King also thanked people for supporting the base day.
“You make the phrase, 'Every day in middle Georgia is Armed Forces appreciation day,' you make it a way of life, not just a slogan,” King said.
While King was installation commander for two years, the Base won two maintenance depot awards, improved safety, and hosted an air show last year.
King often joked he was like a Base mayor, which is something Colonel Lyle Drew said he wants to continue when he takes over.
“So, with that population, you are like a mayor of a small city or town. With that, I'll be responsible for ensuring all the support functions here on the Base are provided in a way that support not only the folks that work here, but also their families,” Colonel Drew said before the ceremony.
Drew takes over a Base of 22,000 people, support for 37 units, and the largest industrial complex in the state.
As Air Base Wing commander, he'll directly oversee 3,600 personnel.
Drew will also oversee, "Logistics, medical, civil engineer, security, and mission support functions," according to information from the Base.
Before this, Drew commanded a maintenance group in New Mexico that worked on Reaper and Predator unmanned aircraft.
He joked he's still getting used to the Georgia heat.
“It's been a transition, to do that I grew up in the northeast and had spent some time in Alabama for one assignment so it's just getting used to the humidity, I think is a tougher heat than the dry heat of the desert,” Drew said with a laugh.
Colonel King is moving to a post at the Pentagon in Washington. Lt. General Lee Levy II presented King with a medal for his service at Robins before the change of command ceremony took place.
Colonel Drew will have the post for 2 years.
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