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10th Air Base Wing welcomes new commander

Lt. Gen. Mike Gould (left) hands Col. Stacey Hawkins the guidon during the 10th ABW Change of Command ceremony June 10 at the Air Force Academy. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Raymond McCoy)

Lt. Gen. Mike Gould (left) hands Col. Stacey Hawkins the guidon during the 10th ABW Change of Command ceremony June 10 at the Air Force Academy. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Raymond McCoy)

Col. Stacey Hawkins speaks after assuming command of the 10th Air Base Wing June 10 during the change of command ceremony at the Air Force Academy. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Raymond McCoy)

Col. Stacey Hawkins speaks after assuming command of the 10th Air Base Wing June 10 during the change of command ceremony at the Air Force Academy. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Raymond McCoy)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Col. Stacey T. Hawkins assumed command of the 10th Air Base Wing in a ceremony here June 10 at 10:10 a.m.

A 1991 Academy graduate, Hawkins returned to take over for the previous commander, Col. Tim Gibson.

"Twenty-two years ago last month, I couldn't have fathomed having an opportunity such as this," Hawkins said. "From the moment we came through the gate, the security forces defender said, 'Welcome back to the Academy,' and that felt pretty good."

As the 10th ABW commander, Hawkins will lead more than 3,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel and be responsible for a $150 million annual operating budget. He will also serve as the Crisis Action Team commander during installation contingency operations.

Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould presided over the change of command. Gould thanked Gibson for his efforts during the past two years. He also expressed confidence in Hawkins as the new commander.

"If you take care of these marvelous Airmen standing out here today, and so many others and their families who are always standing behind them, this mission will continue to get done in a fantastic way," Gould said to Hawkins.

Hawkins' previous assignment was at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., where he served as deputy commander for maintenance at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex.

Hawkins is a career aircraft maintenance and munitions officer who has held a number of leadership and command positions. His staff assignments include Pentagon tours as an Air Force intern in the office of the Secretary of the Air Force for Public Affairs, and the Headquarters Air Staff Directorate for Aircraft and Munitions Maintenance. He has also served in special duty assignments as a ceremonial guardsman with the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard in Washington, D.C., and as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

"To stand here today with my family is a true testament that this great service academy has always and remains committed to developing leaders of character," Hawkins said.

Before relinquishing command, Gibson received a Legion of Merit medal for his service at the Academy.

"With all sincerity, I have never been more comfortable with relinquishing command and turning it over than I am today because of the caliber of Colonel Stacey Hawkins," Gibson said. "You all are in for a real treat."