The 65th Air Base Group welcomed U.S. Air Force Col. Brian Hardeman, 65 ABG incoming commander, and said farewell to Col. William Wallis, 65 ABG outgoing commander, at Lajes Field, Portugal, Aug. 19.
Before arriving at Lajes, Hardeman served as chief of the Mission Integration Division, Department of the Air Force, Chief Architect Office, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Hardeman now oversees units based at Lajes Field and Morón Air Base, Spain. As the “Crossroads of the Atlantic,” Lajes provides an important mid-Atlantic link for U.S.-based armed forces and their mission partners traveling to and from Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
“Managing the 65 ABG is a significant responsibility and I pledge that I will devote my full energy to the job,” Hardeman said. “In the coming weeks and months, I am excited to travel to mainland Portugal and Spain to continue building upon the exceptional personal relationships that Colonel Wallis and our predecessors developed and nurtured over time.”
Brig. Gen. Otis C. Jones, 86th Airlift Wing commander, presided over the ceremony and awarded Wallis a Legion of Merit medal, earned by service members who have distinguished themselves through meritorious conduct.
During his time at Lajes and Morón, Wallis led 1,100 Airmen, civilians, and contractors. Additionally, he led the wing to provide strategic global communications and weather data to warfighters, supporting numerous flying operations and providing 36 million gallons of fuel to seven combatant commands.
“I want to say thank you to our Airmen for what they have done,” Wallis said. “I have never worked with a group of people that are so mission focused and just want to get things done. We helped each other and it was always about how we could get [the mission] done and I appreciate that. I hope that will continue with Col. Hardeman because it makes the job easier, and also makes it fun.”
Wallis will be moving on to his next assignment in Washington, D.C.