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.

Passing the guidon: the 378th AEW holds CoC ceremony

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Stephani Barge
  • 378th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

PRINCE SULTAN AIR BASE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia -- U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. William D. Betts relinquished command of the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing to U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Akshai M. Gandhi during a change of command ceremony at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, May 18, 2023.

Betts was the fourth commander to lead the 378th AEW in its mission to sustain, integrate and defend joint forces on the base, while also building U.S. partnerships in the region. During his time in command, Betts saw the base expand in size and scope, overseeing several large projects and exercises to increase defense capabilities, hosted numerous joint partner units, and improved the quality of life of all personnel on base.

“It has been an honor to serve as the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing Commander,” said Betts. “I’ve seen the team spirit at PSAB every day in the form of humans who value meaningful work and want to leave this place a little bit better than they found it. Their dedication to the mission and to each other leaves me in awe. It has also been a privilege to work with and support our joint partners, and I am incredibly grateful for the strong partnership we’ve experienced with our hosts in the Royal Saudi Air Force.”

Maj. Gen. Clark Quinn, Deputy Commander of U.S. Air Force Forces Central, Ninth Air Force, and Deputy Commander of Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, officiated the Change of Command ceremony.

“For Brig. Gen. Betts, it’s been a year of warfighting and making substantial contributions to the AFCENT mission,” said Quinn. “During your time as commander, this wing has jumped from one success to another. When faced with challenges, you handled them with unwavering commitment, always keeping the mission and the care of your Airmen in the forefront of your mind.”

Upon his redeployment, Betts will replace Quinn as the 9th AF deputy commander at Shaw AFB, S.C.

Betts relinquished command to Gandhi, who previously served as both the Chief of Staff, South Carolina Air National Guard, McEntire Joint National Guard Base, SC, and Air National Guard Assistant to Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, 1st Air Force.

Gandhi recognized the accomplishments of the 378th AEW during his speech at the event and focused on building upon that foundation of excellence in the future.

“I am inspired by the highly effective and impressive base of operations you created during your time here,” said Gandhi. “We are going to continue to improve PSAB, we’re going to continue to project lethal combat power throughout the region, and we’re going to continue to strengthen our strategic partnerships with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other coalition nations.”

The 378th AEW was activated in December of 2019, and currently supports approximately 2,200 Airmen and Soldiers assigned to PSAB, the U.S. Army's Patriot defense capability and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense capability in the region.

The 378th AEW will continue to provide theater operational depth and increased defensive support while sustaining regional presence to promote peace through deterrence.