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75 ABW Change of Command
Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, Air Force Sustainment Center commander, hands the 75th Air Base Wing guidon to Col. Kathryn Kolbe during the 75th ABW change of command ceremony Jan. 11. Kolbe replaced Col. Sarah Zabel (right), a brigadier general select, who will attend Capstone, a premiere Air Force course for general officers. (ALEX R. LLOYD/U.S. Air Force)
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75th Air Base Wing welcomes new commander

Posted 1/17/2013   Updated 1/17/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Mary Lou Gorny
Hilltop Times Editor


1/17/2013 - HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Col. Kathryn Kolbe assumed command of the 75th Air Base Wing on Jan. 11 in a ceremony officiated by Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, Air Force Sustainment Center commander, in Hanger 37.

The ceremony followed a historic year of change as the air base wing saw the Air Force Materiel Command's reorganization of 12 centers to vie amid budget restrictions and other business-as-usual mission requirements, under the command of Col. Sarah Zabel.

General Litchfield welcomed Col. Kolbe to her role and noted a career of remarkable achievements in some of the toughest jobs.

To the men and women of the 75th Air Base Wing, he said, "Your new commander, Col. Kolbe, will make those tough decisions and allow you to sail through the turbulent times ahead and come out on top at the other end.

"It is a great day to be here. We are an all-weather Air Force, and it's a great day to pass the flag," Litchfield concluded, as the area had received a great deal of snow.

Zabel thanked community supporters and the leaders who worked with her in coalition during the changes, thanking in turn each group or respective squadron in her command. She noted that as one of her first new responsibilities as commander she participated in a parade in Layton and was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response the Hill entry received. She believed community support to the base was unmatched.

She concluded by saying she was honored to have served with Col. Kolbe as her former vice commander, and that she knew she would meet with success.

During Kolbe's remarks, the new commander thanked Zabel for her mentorship and leadership as she said, "We will continue to do your good work here."

Kolbe noted that oftentimes the contributions of an air base wing continue with little fanfare. "If you ever doubt your contribution to our country's national security, there is reason to be filled with pride," she said to the men and women assembled in the hangar.

"What you do matters. Thank you for your hard work in defending the national security of the United States of America," she said after noting several of the accomplishments and missions the air base wing fills.

Recognizing the challenges that lay ahead, she charged them, "We will have to recognize our opportunity in maintaining our processes, maximizing our available resources and now more than ever in taking care of our Air Force family."

She quoted Theodore Roosevelt and described their mission as: '"Being in the arena for a worthy cause' securing our nation's liberty and freedom."

"It will be an honor to serve and command the 75th Air Base Wing and to continue to do so with our Hill Air Force Base partners and those we partner with in the community," Kolbe concluded as she thanked everyone for coming and asked everyone to drive carefully.

General Litchfield acknowledged the accomplishments of Zabel before her formal relinquishment of command. "You have every reason as you pass the flag to stand there with pride and reflect on what you have accomplished during your time with this organization. For your time in command can be underscored by only one thing. I believe that to be 'change.' From the reorganization and all the rich responsibilities that came with it to the reshaping of the support systems by which you provide family services to our Airmen, to even the budget changes that are ongoing throughout the wing, you have done it with great style."

"But you know in times of great change, the one thing I think that matters most, and I've discovered this, is that of leadership. You rose to the challenge," Litchfield said.

The 75th ABW was originally established on Feb. 5, 1942 at Ellington Field, Texas, as the 75th Observation Group. It became the 75th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, moved stations a few times, experienced a few deactivations and reactivations, ultimately becoming the 75th Air Base Wing on Oct. 1, 1994, when it was assigned to the Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill Air Force Base. Under the new reorganization the wing is now assigned under the Air Force Sustainment Center at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, while overseeing operations at the Hill AFB installation.

Zabel, a brigadier general select, will be attending Capstone, a premiere Air Force course for generals before going on to her new assignment.



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