BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Col. Larry Broadwell assumed command of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing from Col. Douglas Lee during a change of command ceremony here July 8.
Major Gen. Bradford J. Shwedo, 25th Air Force commander, was the presiding official and spoke highly of Broadwell as his selection to be the wing's newest commander and stressed the importance of the 9th RW mission.
"We are at war every day here at Beale and I absolutely know Col. Broadwell is ready to contribute," Shwedo said. "He’s no stranger to combat, I’ve seen his leadership and judgement first-hand and you’ll be amazed.”
Broadwell will be responsible for more than 7,000 Airmen and civilians as well as the Air Force's entire high-altitude reconnaissance fleet of RQ-4 Global Hawk and U-2 Dragon lady aircraft.
Broadwell thanked Shwedo for the opportunity to lead Team Beale.
“As the newest member of Team Beale I am humbled to serve by your side and join our nation’s vanguard of high-altitude ISR," Broadwell said. "I know I am joining an outstanding team."
Shwedo also spoke of the departing commander's exceptional leadership and performance during Lee’s two year tour as the 9th RW commander.
"Col. Lee, you have done a phenomenal job," Shwedo said. "You were at war every year you were here and supported every combatant commander on the planet and kept our families safe.”
Following his remarks, Shwedo presented Lee with the Legion of Merit. The citation read that under Lee's leadership the 9th Reconnaissance Wing flew more than 17,500 combat sorties and more than 151,000 combat hours while archiving a 97 percent mission effectiveness rate.
The out-going commander expressed his appreciation for his Airmen and thanked all members of Team Beale for their contributions, sacrifices and continued support.
"Team Beale, for the past two years my family and I we’re thrilled to be a part of you," said Lee. "Col. Broadwell is a class act and a superb leader, Team Beale is in great hands."
Broadwell congratulated Lee for the wing's exceptional performance and excellent reputation of its Airmen.
"The 9RW is the envy of the Air Force, not because of the aircraft but because of its Airmen,” Broadwell said. “Our nation expects great things from us, as we continue to be most dominate, lethal Air Force on the planet.”