78th Air Base Wing conducts change of command ceremony

  • Published
  • By Kisha Foster Johnson
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – The 78th Air Base Wing at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, conducted a change of command ceremony July 6 at the Museum of Aviation Century of Flight Hangar.

Col. Deedrick L. Reese took over command from Col. Lindsay C. Droz, who has held the position since June 2021. She will be taking over as director of staff at Air Force Materiel Command located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Prior to Robins, Reese served as commander of the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Group at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

“To my new family, the men and women of the 78th Air Base Wing, it truly is an honor to serve with you,” said Reese, during the ceremony. “I’m committed to seeing you are organized, trained, and equipped to support and execute this unique mission for which we are responsible.”

In the 78th ABW’s 31-year history, Reese is the 17th commander and the first African American to serve in this role.

He now commands more than 2,700 personnel assigned to three groups, a communications directorate, an operations support squadron, a comptroller squadron and 17 wing staff agencies.

As the commander of the 78th ABW, Reese also took over as the commander of the installation, making him responsible for the safety, security, morale and welfare of more than 22,000 total force Airmen across more than 50 mission partners, including a major command, an air logistics complex and multiple wings, along with 28,000 local dependents and retirees.

“I’m honored for the opportunity to lead our Airmen and protect our nation here in Middle Georgia,” said Reese. “Robins AFB has been the backbone of American airpower since 1941, and we are transforming this installation to set the standard for innovation through new missions, new technologies and creative partnerships. I’m so happy to be part of this team.”

To help usher in this new chapter at Robins, Air Force Sustainment Center Commander Lt. Gen. Stacey Hawkins presided over the ceremony.

“Col. Reese, welcome to Middle Georgia, a slice of paradise,” said Hawkins. “You are bringing a record of commitment to team leadership, discipline and accountability. You are bringing it to the Air Force Sustainment Center, Air Force Materiel Command and Robins Air Force Base.

“‘People first, people always’ is the cornerstone of your philosophy, and you will have the people to make it happen,” Hawkins continued. “Middle Georgia will have your back in all of your endeavors.”

Reese earned his commission in 1999 upon graduation from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. 

He has served in various special operations, mobility and fighter aircraft maintenance organizations, and has completed staff officer assignments at Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command and Headquarters Air Force. 

During his career he has received numerous accolades, which include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters.

“I plan to provide vision and foster an environment in which all of you can perform and grow to your maximum potential – personally and professionally,” Reese said to his new wing. “I will also keep you focused for why we are here, why we wear this uniform, and why our mission will not fail. I look forward to working with you and getting to know you during my time in command. Thank you for all you have done and will do in the future.”