Story and photos by
Senior Airman Milton Hamilton
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
LAJES FIELD, Portugal — Col. Beth Graboritz assumed command of the 65th Air Base Group from Col. Travis Leighton, at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, on Aug. 22.
Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, presided over the ceremony.
“There’s a new commander ready to grab the guidon, to show Lajes can go in new directions and new avenues,” said August.
Graboritz received her commission upon graduation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1995.
August said Graboritz brings a different perspective to the command, as well as new energy and was the most qualified person to do the job.
Prior to Graboritz’s current position she led the Directorate of Operations Cyber Division for United States Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
After the change of command, Airmen from the 65th ABG, host nation civilians and Portuguese military members welcomed Graboritz during a meet and greet, where she was able to speak with and get to know her team.
“This is an amazing opportunity,” said Graboritz. “I’m excited and looking forward to working with the group.”
Lajes Field is known as the “Crossroads of the Atlantic,” providing a strategic advantage to the U.S. and it’s allied forces.
The 65th ABG provides base and en-route support for the U.S. Department of Defense and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.