Change of leadership for 552d ACW
By 2nd Lt. Kinder Blacke, 552nd Air Control Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 27, 2008
27 August 2008 --
Col. Patricia D. Hoffman accepted command of the 552nd Air Control Wing from Brig. Gen. Lori J. Robinson in a traditional change of command ceremony August 27th in Dock 2.
Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, 8th Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony, taking the wing guide-on from General Robinson and giving it - as well as command of more than 5,000 military and civilian personnel - to Colonel Hoffman.
"Words can't capture my feelings," Colonel Hoffman said about assuming leadership. "I'm honored to be counted among the men and women of the 552nd ACW again."
Colonel Hoffman is the second wing commander in 552nd Air Control Wing history who can trace her roots back to Tinker as an air battle manager. She returned to Tinker later to serve as a mission crew commander and squadron director of operations, and now has the opportunity to come back again to "lead this remarkable wing," Colonel Hoffman said. "Life certainly seems to have come full circle!" she said.
General Robinson was the first 552nd ACW wing commander with experience as an air battle manager, which added to her credibility when representing the wing. With her unique background, she "wanted to be a spokesperson for the Airmen in this wing at a level that had never happened before."
"I knew it was going to be awesome, but it was even better than I expected it to be," General Robinson said. "I didn't realize how passionate I was about what we do here until I was in forums to be able to talk about it," she said.
Colonel Hoffman is excited and humbled to follow in General Robinson's footsteps as the next air battle manager to gain command of the wing. "The men and women of the 552nd ACW deliver the world's premier command and control and battle management capability," she said, "they do it through their expertise, dedication, and initiative to take on and overcome challenges."
"My goal is to ensure our Airmen have the resources - both for operational employment and for quality of life - needed to continue to provide this critical capability."
Colonel Hoffman is also excited to "maintain the great relationship the 552 ACW has as a part of Team Tinker and as a member of the local community." She enjoyed being involved in events in Midwest City and Oklahoma City during her last assignments at Tinker and encourages her Airmen to take advantage of all of the wonderful opportunities the community has to offer.
While commanding the wing and working with Team Tinker and the community, General Robinson said she learned a lot about teamwork. Her thanks go to Maj. Gen. Loren M. Reno, commander, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, who she said is probably the biggest team player she has ever met.
The other lessons that General Robinson learned as the wing commander include patience and different ways of teaching, depending upon the audience, she said. "And I learned that you can still be you... you can still be emotional... you can still be you."
General Robinson is now on her way to the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. to serve as the Deputy Director of Force Application, J-8, Joint Staff, and (according to JCS Link) will be responsible to the Director, J-8 for identifying, assessing, and prioritizing programmed, projected, and potential Force Application warfighting capability needs.
When asked for her final thoughts for her Airmen, General Robinson said, with tear-filled eyes, "just tell them to keep doing what they are doing because they're awesome... Even though I won't be the wing commander on the 27th at 10:15 anymore, I'll still be bragging about them." She continued, "So tell everybody out there how cool they are, because they do things above and beyond each and every day."