NEWS | July 6, 2017

Joint Base Charleston welcomes new 628th ABW, installation commander

By Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Col. Jeffrey Nelson, former 437th Airlift Wing vice commander, took command of the 628th Air Base Wing and Joint Base Charleston during a change of command ceremony at Nose Dock 2 here, July 6, 2017.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Bence, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander, presided over the ceremony and facilitated the transfer of the 628th ABW guideon. After Nelson accepted command he promised Col. Robert Lyman, 628th ABW outgoing commander, and those in attendance, to continue the growth of the wing and installation’s legacy.

“Thank you for all that you’ve done for the 628th ABW and Joint Base Charleston,” said Nelson. “We look forward to building upon your successes and continuing to enhance support to mission partners and building community partnerships.”

Bence awarded Lyman with the Legion of Merit for exceptional meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. He also took time to highlight the accomplishments of Joint Base Charleston during Lyman’s tenure.

“You have served selflessly and have left an incredible mark on the 628th ABW and the joint base family,” said Bence. “You can rest assured your leadership over the past two years has shaped and developed the 628th into the outstanding unit it is today and cemented Joint Base Charleston as the Department of Defense’s shining example of joint basing done right.”

Lyman started his tenure as commander in July 2015. After being recognized, Lyman addressed the audience, offering words of thanks and fulfillment as he reflected on his time as base commander.

“Thank you all for being such great wingmen and shipmates,” said Lyman. “Lowcountry warriors, you amaze all who meet you with the integrity of your service, the humility of your excellence and the commitment of your courageous character. I’ll close my time as your commander by looking my teammates in the eye and simply saying this: I am fiercely proud to have had the opportunity to be one of you.” 

Lyman is scheduled for an assignment to Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C., where he will be the director of communications. JSOC is a sub-unified command of the U.S. Special Operations Command charged to study special operations requirements and techniques, ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training and develop joint special operations tactics.

The ceremony concluded with Nelson addressing his new team for the first time. During his speech he shared his vision for the future of the wing and the joint team.

“To the Joint Base Charleston mission partners of all sizes, I look forward to working with each and every one of you and supporting your mission,” said Nelson. “To the men and women of the 628th ABW, I am honored and humbled to be your commander. I am committed to working for you and the mission of the 628th ABW. I look forward to working with each of you as we build and develop leaders, provide unrivaled joint base and installation support and provide mission ready personnel to the combatant commanders.”

Nelson’s background as the 437th AW vice commander included being responsible for the deployment of Airmen and aircraft worldwide in support of contingency operations involving  air, land and airdrop delivery of forces, equipment and supplies supporting combat operations.

As the 628th ABW and Joint Base Charleston commander, Nelson will direct installation support to a total force of more than 90,000 Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, civilians, dependents and retirees across the Lowcountry.