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U.S. Air Force photo/Guido Melo
Col. Jose Rivera accepts the 65th Air Base Wing guidon from Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc during a change of command ceremony at Lajes Field, Azores, July 22. Colonel Rivera assumed command of the wing from Col. Peggy Poore
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Lajes welcomes new 65th Air Base Wing commander

Posted 7/27/2010   Updated 7/27/2010 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Olufemi Owolabi
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

7/27/2010 - LAJES FIELD, Azores -- Col. Jose A. Rivera assumed command of the 65th Air Base Wing in a change of command ceremony at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal July 22.

Colonel Rivera arrived here from Robins Air Force Base, Ga., where he commanded the 5th Combat Communications Group and will now be commanding the 65th Air Base Wing whose mission is to enable the expeditionary movement of war fighters, warplanes, and global communications to Combatant Commanders and supporting Joint, Coalition, and NATO operations as part of U.S. and Allied Air Expeditionary Forces.

The change of command ceremony was attended by distinguished U.S. and Portuguese military guests, Azorean civic leaders, and friends and family from the local community. During the ceremony, Col. Peggy Poore, outgoing wing commander who will be going to the Pentagon, Washington D.C. for her next assignment, relinquished command of the wing to Colonel Rivera. 

Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc, 3rd Air Force commander and the ceremony's presiding official, commended Colonel Poore for doing an outstanding job at Lajes and said he was thrilled to welcome Colonel Rivera to command the wing. 

"I know you are eager and confident- you should be confident because you will have the help of the men and women of the 65th Air Base Wing, who are simply superb," assured the general to the new commander.

Following the transfer of the wing guidon and the receipt of his first official salute from the Airmen at Lajes, Colonel Rivera accepted the command-ship of the wing. 

"This is a great honor and opportunity," said the new commander after thanking General Gorenc for the opportunity to lead the wing. 

"As I look around me today, I see the magnificent formation of American Airmen but I cannot help but think of those who are not here today," added Colonel Rivera, addressing his Airmen for the first time. "I am talking about those who are in harm's way defending our liberties and way of life in far, far away lands ... specifically about the Airmen from Lajes who are deployed right now."

Colonel Rivera thanked the former commander for her leadership and said the "Lajes Warriors" wish her well in her future assignments. 

To the men and women of the wing he said, "I am honored and humbled to stand before you today. With steadfast resolve, we will continue to fight today's war and we will take care of our Airmen and their families. We will take our relationship with the host nation to new levels, and we will prepare jointly for future challenges." 

Colonel Rivera is accompanied here by his wife, April, and their daughter, Sophia.

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