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380AEW Article

Once more with feeling — the 380th ECS ends change of command season at ADAB

  • Published
  • By TSgt Jeffrey Grossi
  • 380 AEW
The 380th Expeditionary Communications Squadron brought change of command season to an end August 5, 2022, at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. Command of the squadron changed hands from Lt. Col Neil J. Wood to Maj. Eric R. Mast, the new 380th ECS commander.
The ceremony began with the arrival of the official party, a presentation of the colors by the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing's Honor Guard and a presentation of the Meritorious Service Medal to Wood by Col. Brian T. Hobbins, the deputy commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing.
During his tenure as the ECS commander, Wood distinguished himself by leading his squadron during a cyber bed-down for 11 General Atomics MQ-9 Reapers, 12 General Dynamics F-16s and six Lockheed AC-130s in support of evacuations in Afghanistan, and was the lead command and control node for those operations. He was also responsible for directing the relocation of the base’s data center, bolstering the continued safeguard of the area's second largest hub of command, control, communication, and computer equipment. It was through these accomplishments, and the squadron's consistent vigilance, that the 380th ECS was named the area's number one most secure network.
“These accomplishments, among many others, are not easy, and are often thankless,” said Hobbins. “But I thank you here today for your dedication and leadership of the men and women of the 380th ECS. You have a lot to be proud of.”
Hobbins then welcomed the squadron’s new commander to the team at ADAB wit a brief description of his career. Mast taps into his broad experience as a cyberspace operations officer, whose previous command was at the 844th Communications Squadron at the Pentagon, Washington D.C.
“In this duty Maj. Mast tackled high visibility tasks like directing the Air Force Association Senior Leader team, setting up countless events and working closely with current and former Secretaries of the Air Force,” said Hobbins.
During this time he helped execute the Global Air Chiefs Summit, where top Air Force generals from multiple nations meet to discuss the future of air power. In addition, he oversaw total force message broadcasts which reached more than 700K members.
Hobbins closed by encouraging the 380th’s newest commander, saying, “Eric, I know you are the right person to lead the Airman in this environment and into the uncertain future.”
Mast addressed his squadron, internally known as the falcons, before the ceremonies end. Assuring them they would get to hear more about his leadership philosophies in the future. But for now, would give them the short version.
“Falcons, I’m here for you,” said Mast. “You are the reason desert comm is always on. So I want to spend my time as commander investing in you. I want you to be smarter, faster, stronger, more skilled, promoted, decorated. I want your personal goals and our squadron to grow together. In return, I ask that you continue to support each other as you grow and you continue to execute with excellence. I’m in awe of what you already accomplished and it is the privilege of my career to join you.”
The 380th ECS’s mission is to deliver wartime cyber capabilities and communications services in support of decisive air power.