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81st TRW welcomes new commander

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, passes the guidon to Col. William Hunter, 81st Training Wing commander, during a change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next. Hunter assumed command of the 81st TRW from Col. Heather Blackwell. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, passes the guidon to Col. William Hunter, 81st Training Wing commander, during a change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next. Hunter assumed command of the 81st TRW from Col. Heather Blackwell. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. William Hunter, 81st Training Wing commander, addresses his new command during a change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. Hunter assumed command of the 81st TRW from Col. Heather Blackwell. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. William Hunter, 81st Training Wing commander, addresses his new command during a change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. Hunter assumed command of the 81st TRW from Col. Heather Blackwell. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, delivers remarks during the 81st Training Wing change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. Col. Heather Blackwell relinquished command of the 81st TRW to Col. William Hunter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, delivers remarks during the 81st Training Wing change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. Col. Heather Blackwell relinquished command of the 81st TRW to Col. William Hunter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, outgoing 81st Training Wing commander, and Col. William Hunter, incoming 81st TRW commander, looks on as Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, delivers remarks during the change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. Blackwell is now assigned to the Air Combat Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, outgoing 81st Training Wing commander, and Col. William Hunter, incoming 81st TRW commander, looks on as Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, delivers remarks during the change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. Blackwell is now assigned to the Air Combat Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. James Kafer, 81st Training Wing vice commander, stands in formation with Airmen from the 81st Training Group during the 81st TRW change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. Col. Heather Blackwell relinquished command of the 81st TRW to Col. William Hunter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. James Kafer, 81st Training Wing vice commander, stands in formation with Airmen from the 81st Training Group during the 81st TRW change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. Col. Heather Blackwell relinquished command of the 81st TRW to Col. William Hunter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. William Hunter, 81st Training Wing commander, salutes Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, during the change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. Hunter assumed command of the 81st TRW from Col. Heather Blackwell. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Spencer Tobler)

U.S. Air Force Col. William Hunter, 81st Training Wing commander, salutes Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, during the change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. Hunter assumed command of the 81st TRW from Col. Heather Blackwell. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Spencer Tobler)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, outgoing 81st Training Wing commander, salutes Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, during the change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. Blackwell is now assigned to the Air Combat Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Spencer Tobler)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, outgoing 81st Training Wing commander, salutes Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, during the change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. Blackwell is now assigned to the Air Combat Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Spencer Tobler)

Airmen from the 81st Training Group stand in formation during the 81st Training Wing change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell relinquished command of the 81st TRW to Col. William Hunter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Spencer Tobler)

Airmen from the 81st Training Group stand in formation during the 81st Training Wing change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell relinquished command of the 81st TRW to Col. William Hunter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Spencer Tobler)

Marines from the 81st Training Group stand in formation during the 81st Training Wing change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell relinquished command of the 81st TRW to Col. William Hunter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Spencer Tobler)

Marines from the 81st Training Group stand in formation during the 81st Training Wing change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. The ceremony is a symbol of command being exchanged from one commander to the next by the handing-off of a ceremonial guidon. U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell relinquished command of the 81st TRW to Col. William Hunter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Spencer Tobler)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, takes the guidon from Col. Heather Blackwell, outgoing 81st Training Wing commander, during the change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. Blackwell is now assigned to the Air Combat Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)
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U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander, takes the guidon from Col. Heather Blackwell, outgoing 81st Training Wing commander, during the change of command ceremony on the Levitow Training Support Facility drill pad at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 17, 2021. Blackwell is now assigned to the Air Combat Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Team Keesler welcomed the newest commander of the 81st Training Wing, the host wing of Keesler Air Force Base, during a change of command at the Levitow Training Support Facility, June 17.

Col. William H. Hunter assumed command of the 81st TRW from outgoing commander Col. Heather W. Blackwell during a change of command ceremony officiated by Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Second Air Force commander.

“Thank you for your trust and confidence in selecting me and my family to lead the Airmen and families of the 81st TRW,” said Hunter. “The Hunter family is fully invested in the success of Keesler.”

As the 81st TRW commander since 2019, Blackwell led approximately 12,000 Airmen and civilians, providing  in support of technical training for officers, enlisted and civilians in over 120 career fields including cyber, medical, weather, personnel, comptroller and informational management.

“Thank you Keesler for making me a better wingman, leader and warrior,” said Blackwell. “I will never leave an Airmen, Sailor, Marine, Soldier, Guardian, Coast Guardsman, civilian or family member behind. I will not falter and because of you, we will not fail.”

Tullos communicated her appreciation of Blackwell’s leadership throughout the last two years, where she led the 81st TRW to achieve Air Education and Training Command priorities.

“I watched you put your heart and soul into the wing, our mission partners, this community and the needs of the nation,” said Tullos. “You and your team should be very proud of the example you set for resiliency, connectedness, and mission effectiveness and your delivery of air power anytime and anywhere.”

Tullos said Hunter’s leadership is vital toward leading 81st TRW going forward and continuing to achieve command goals in support of the AETC mission of recruiting, training and educating exceptional Airmen.

“The team you now have is prepared to take your wing to the next level,” said Tullos. “They will work hard and make lasting memories, creating a championship team.”

In the conclusion of his remarks, Col. Hunter communicated his confidence and appreciation for the Keesler community.

“To the men and women of the 81st TRW: You are at the forefront of producing the next generation of warfighters,” said Hunter. “Thank you for your tireless work, dedication to the mission and professionalism. I am honored to be your new wing commander and look forward to serving alongside each of you and continuing the momentum of this awesome installation.”

Hunter is the 48th commander to lead the installation since its activation in 1941. Coming from Hurlburt Field, Florida, as the 1st Special Operations Mission Support Group commander, Hunter will take the Keesler mission on next as the new 81st TRW commander.