JBER welcomes new base commander

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Hailey Staker
  • JBER Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Col. David Wilson assumed command of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and the 673d Air Base Wing during a ceremony June 28.

As commander, Wilson oversees the operations of the wing’s four groups, and maintains the joint base for air sovereignty, combat training, force staging and operations in support of worldwide contingencies.

“Today is a bit of a dream come true for Ella, Susan and I, and we’re thrilled to be here at [JBER] in the land of the midnight sun, serving with the tremendous Arctic Warriors of the 673d Air Base Wing,” Wilson said. “To [you] and the extraordinary mission partners here at JBER, thank you for showing up each and every day. Our success requires singular purpose, shared sacrifice and empowered leaders.”

Wilson’s previous assignment was as commander, 21st Mission Support Group, and vice commander, Peterson-Schriever Garrison, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado. He replaces Col. Kirsten Aguilar, who departs to become U.S. Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower, Personnel and Services, Directorate of Force Management Policy, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

During the event, Wilson also thanked family and friends, key leaders, and the men and women – both service members and civilians – who make up the installation, for their continued support and outlined his priorities.

“Together we will build the systems, teams and habits of excellence to ensure we are an unbreakable wall in our Nation’s defense,” Wilson said. “My priorities are simple – family first. It is the core of our wingman culture. Agile combat support is our mission, and therefore we will invest in readiness, exceed customer expectations and empower subordinate leaders.”

Additionally, Wilson stressed the importance of fostering a culture of respect and professionalism by being empathetic, connected and present.

“We will face challenges and opportunities each day,” Wilson said. “Regardless of circumstance or crisis, I commit to each of you that as long as I have the privilege to serve alongside you, I will devote every effort to provide unrivaled support to this mission and unwavering dedication to the welfare of you and your families.”

JBER hosts the headquarters for the U.S. Alaskan Command, Eleventh Air Force, 11th Airborne Division and the Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region. Additionally, the 673d ABW comprises over 5,500 joint military and civilian personnel, supporting America’s Arctic Warriors and their families. The wing also supports and enables three AF total-force wings, an Army Brigade and 55 other major mission partners.

In addition, the wing provides medical care to over 35,000 joint service members, dependents, Veterans Affairs patients and retirees throughout Alaska. The 673d ABW maintains $15 billion in infrastructure encompassing 85,000 acres, ensuring JBER remains America’s premier strategic power projection platform.

“This wing’s growth and strategic importance also reflect the changing international security environment,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. David Krumm, commander of the Alaskan NORAD Region, North American Aerospace Defense Command; commander of Alaskan Command, U.S. Northern Command; and commander of the 11th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces. “Increased military traffic in historically inaccessible arctic seas is dramatically altering the security calculus of our region and the 673d Air Base Wing is a key part of our allies and our nation’s homeland defense.”

Krumm closed out his remarks by reminding the Airmen of the 673d ABW of their importance, both in the success of Agile Combat Employment, and bringing freedom to the United States and the rest of the world.

“Continue bringing [airpower] every day, and making the 673d [ABW] part of a seamless global force protection paradigm,” Krumm added. “Most importantly, take care of the service members and their families – they’re the backbone for everything that we do.”