An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Vision for the future - a new commander takes the reins of the 378th AEW

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Patrick Evenson
  • 378th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

The tradition of change of command ceremonies is so that the unit can witness their new leader assume the responsibility and trust associated with the position of commander.

The 378th Air Expeditionary Wing had such an occasion recently as Brig. Gen. Robert D. Davis, relinquished command to Brig. Gen. William D. Betts, during a change of command ceremony at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on May 9.

“It's a privilege to stand before you one last time in this role,” said Davis. “Leading a winning team in combat has been the highlight of my career, and the honor goes to all of you. It has been a privilege to be a part of your lives and have you part of mine.”

Change of commands are an opportunity to thank and acknowledge the achievements of the outgoing commander, get a glimpse of the expectations and vision of a new commander, and a chance to relish the impressive accomplishments of the unit they've been trusted to lead.

As Davis remarked, the 378th is a ‘winning team’, and although he commanded them for the past year, the accomplishments reflect the men and women under his command as much as him.

One of many dog-eared pages from Davis’ year in command, was the “One Room” Initiative, which has streamlined the reporting and execution of the installations air and ground defenses, while simultaneously incorporating emergency response and recovery services. The 378th is the first wing in theater to achieve that full operational capability.

When speaking about firsts, standing up the air force’s first fixed-site low, slow, small unmanned aerial integrated defeat system, can’t be forgotten.

With two major initiatives like those, it is no surprise that in the same time, the unit invested $115 million in over 100 projects aimed at transitioning the base from an expeditionary base to a more enduring installation.

Accomplishing the planned objectives is always a great achievement, but more so when the unplanned happens and the Wing still rises to the challenge. During Operation Allies Refuge, the wing supported the theater-wide Afghan evacuation for more than 1200 evacuees, without skipping a beat on their normal mission taskings.

Since the U.S. presence has been back at PSAB, the once large expanse of dirt and rock has sprouted an expeditionary base under two previous commanders. In the past year, it has made even larger strides to become something unrecognizable from a mere three years ago.

“I have no doubt that [Davis] is proud of the wing's accomplishments, and he should be,” said Lt. Gen. Gregory M. Guillot, commander of the Ninth Air Force (Air Force Central Command). “I'm certain he will look back at this command tour as a truly rewarding assignment.”

Upon redeploying, Davis will fill a new position as North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command’s director for Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4)/Cyber in Colorado Springs.

As the guidon passes from one commander to the next, a new chapter starts for the Wing, but one with the same mission.

“I'm confident that under his leadership, the 378th will deliver world class airpower and build upon the record of exceptional results that have been the benchmark of this organization,” said Guillot of Betts.

Betts joins the 378th AEW after serving as the vice commander for First Air Force and Air Force Northern Command at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

“Team PSAB, I'm proud to be one of you,” said Betts. “I'm honored to serve you as you fight to win today and as you work to prevent the fight tomorrow.”

The mission of 378th AEW is to sustain and defend joint forces at PSAB while projecting combat airpower in support of theater plans and operations. The wing is responsible for the support of more than 2,400 Airmen and soldiers assigned to PSAB and the U.S. Army's Patriot defense capability and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense capability in the region.