Change of Command Ceremony at Keesler Air Force Base

The change of command ceremony is one of the most important military traditions in history. Today, Keesler Air Force Base said their goodbyes to Colonel Michele Edmondson and welcomed in Colonel Debra Lovette.
News 25’s Taylor Rubach attended the ceremony and has more on Colonel Lovette’s plans for the base.
People come together under one roof to celebrate one of Keesler’s most important ceremonies. Friday morning, the base officially welcomed in Colonel Debra Lovette as the new commander, replacing Colonel Michele Edmondson. “It was a little bit surreal, of course, just listening to the accomplishments of the Wing as they were talking about Col. Edmondson and as Major General Labrutta was outlining all of the things that happened here in the Wing. It was amazing to hear. It was enlightening,” said Col. Lovette.
Twenty-three years ago, Lovette was training here at Keesler. Now, beginning her new journey as commander of the 81st Training Wing, she says she’s ready to take care of the airmen and their families. “I remember the things I use to complain about as a student, which of course, I have the opportunity to take a look at now as the Wing Commander, but of course, I’ll be leaning heavily on the current students because so many things have changed in 23 years,” said Col. Lovette.
Command Chief Clark Vegas explains it was also a bittersweet moment at the ceremony, bidding their farewells to Col. Edmondson, whose new role will take place at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. “We spent a lot of time talking and nobody cares more about airmen than Col. Michele Edmondson so bittersweet moment for me. When I was up there I was like ‘Ah, I don’t want to see her go,’ but she’s off to bigger and better things.”
Edmondson did not take long to get into her new role. Just moments after the ceremony, the former commander was already on her way to begin her new journey as the executive officer for the vice chief of staff of the Air Force.

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