Keesler Air Force Base Assumption of Command Ceremony

Keesler Air Force Base held the Assumption of Command Ceremony this morning.

Col. Billy Pope Jr. is taking charge as the new commander over the 81st Training Wing at Keesler Air Force Base. “If I could command any wing in the United States Air Force, it would be this one, the 81st Training Wing.”

Col. Pope received his commission from the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Redlands in June 2001 and has served in numerous capacities within the communications and cyber operations career fields.  Major General Michele C. Edmondson said, “Beyond his command experience, Billy’s assignments throughout his career have proven instrumental in developing the officer that sits before you today.”

Col. Pope says he is looking forward to bringing his wealth of knowledge to the base and the new airmen. “This generation of airmen that is entering the force today is coming in as digital natives. They understand cyberspace better than anyone. So, those innovative ideas and concepts within the 81st Training Wing, they are all going to have a voice because we need those voices.”

Col. Pope is no stranger to the Coast, having been stationed here before as the 81st Communications Squadron Commander. “So, I ran the networks that run the base and then all the training occurred at the top of those networks.”

Col. Pope says he is excited for this new journey. “One of the things that I am most excited for is the opportunity to learn grow within that space of redeveloping the airmen.”

Categories: Featured, Local News, News