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552nd ACW leadership to change hands today

552nd Air Control Wing Public Affairs -- With a few words of goodbye to his troops and the passing of the unit guide-on, Brig. Gen. James M. Kowalski will relinquish command of the 552nd Air Control Wing to Col. Lori J. Robinson during a change of command ceremony set for 10 a.m. today in Bldg. 230 Dock 2.

Lt. Gen. Robert "Bob" Elder, 8th Air Force commander, will officiate the ceremony where Col. Robinson, currently Chief of the Air Force House Liaison Office, House of Representatives, in Washington, D.C., takes command of the more than 4,000 Airmen and civilians, as well as the fleet of the E-3 Sentry aircraft at Tinker, Kadena Air Base, Japan, and Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

Col. Robinson, who has been selected to brigadier general, has had several assignments within the 552nd ACW: from June 1993 to 1994, she was chief of the 965th Airborne Warning and Control Squadron's Weapons and Tactics Branch; and from June 2002 to August 2004, she served as the 552nd Operations Group commander.

In addition, Col. Robinson will also become the 552nd ACW's first female wing commander in 50 years.

Gen. Kowalski moves on to Washington D.C., where he will become the Chief of Global Operations for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.

"It's been a great opportunity for me to have been your commander these past years," Gen. Kowalski said during his last 552nd ACW commander's call April 23. "But the time has come for me to move on. I know you will serve the new commander as proudly and as well as you have served me."

During his command, Gen. Kowalski has seen his Airmen and aircraft deploy around the world for President of the United States, or POTUS, support, conducting counter-drug operations in Ecuador, and -- most recently -- returning to the Global War on Terror supporting Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.