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 Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst personnel and community members gathered to witness Col. James C. Hodges assume command of the 87th Air Base Wing and JB MDL from Col. John Wood during a change of command ceremony at the VR-64 Hangar here today.
 Hodges will provide installation support to more than 80 mission partners at the joint base and generate mission-ready expeditionary warfighters to combatant commanders in his new role.
 Hodges is entering a role in which he will be supporting all service branches of the military. He will be working alongside members from different service branches every day.
 
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87th ABW CoC
Brig. Gen. Randall C. Guthrie, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander, passes the guidon to Col. James C. Hodges, who takes command during the 87th Air Base Wing Change of Command Ceremony July 25, 2013, in Hanger 3370 on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. During the event Col. John M. Wood relinquished command to Hodges. (U.S. Air Force photo by Russ Meseroll/Released)
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 BRIGADIER GENERAL RANDALL C. "ARLO" GUTHRIE
 COL. JAMES C. HODGES
Joint base welcomes new commander

Posted 7/25/2013   Updated 8/1/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman 1st Class Sean M. Crowe
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs


7/25/2013 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst personnel and community members gathered to witness Col. James C. Hodges assume command of the 87th Air Base Wing and JB MDL from Col. John Wood during a change of command ceremony at the VR-64 Hangar here today.

Hodges will provide installation support to more than 80 mission partners at the joint base and generate mission-ready expeditionary warfighters to combatant commanders in his new role.
Brig. Gen. Randall C. Guthrie, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander, officiated the ceremony, July 25.

"We are blessed to have someone who is fully willing and able to take on the challenges of caring for the 88 mission partners in addition to the men and women of the 87th Air Base Wing," said Guthrie. "It will be exciting and, at times, difficult."

Hodges is entering a role in which he will be supporting all service branches of the military. He will be working alongside members from different service branches every day.

"We are in a Navy hangar listening to an Army band," said Hodges. "Just behind us are Air Force Aircraft. The Marine and Coast Guard units are only a stone's throw away. I will work tirelessly to apply all of my knowledge, skill, ability and experiences to live up to the leadership role that gets the results that this base, its missions and the people here deserve."

Hodges most recently served as the commander of the 6th Mission Support Group at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., from July 2011 to July 2013. He entered the Air Force in 1991 as an engineer after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy and has since served at many command levels including group, squadron and headquarters assignments.

"I've been given special trust and confidence," said Hodges. "Things are left in amazing shape and I couldn't ask for more. It's not lost on me that I'm assuming a special command. I'm very aware the role this base has had in our nation's history.

Hodges will serve the 87th ABW service members well and lead them in the right direction.

"My priorities will be focused on supporting our missions and our members in our joint base community," said Hodges. "We will all win as one."

The 87th ABW was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit award during its third year of operation in Wood's 25-month tenure.

"Today is bittersweet as we say goodbye to the Wood family," said Guthrie. "We savor the friendships and the accomplishments over the last two years as we welcome the Hodges. Air Mobility Command leaders saw the complex mission at JB MDL and knew they needed someone highly talented and experienced when looking for someone to lead the 87th Air Base Wing."

Guthrie presented Wood with the Legion of Merit and Maj. Gen. Razz Waff, 99th Regional Support Command commander, presented Wood with the Army Achievement Medal during the ceremony.

"We have a fantastic community here," said Wood. "They want to care about the military members, regardless of their service branches. We love the relationship."

Wood addressed the men and women of the 87th ABW, who stood in formation led by the commander of troops, Army Col. Charles Coursey, JB MDL deputy commander.

This wing is full of great individuals who continuously care for people and support the mission, said Wood. The successes the 87th ABW achieved are because people plan and find ways to solve those tough issues.

Thank you for all that you do, he added.

More than 500 service members and civic leaders from the surrounding communities, to include former Congressman (ret.) Jim Saxton, members of the Burlington County Military Affairs Committee and representatives from the Burlington and Ocean County Chambers of Commerce, attended today's ceremony to witness the ceremonious relinquishment of the unit guidon.



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