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New logistics commander praises ‘complex,’ ‘important’ work at Hill Air Force Base

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Renowned U.S. Army Gen. John Pershing once said, "Infantry wins battles, logistics wins wars."

The famous quote was meant to signify that detailed coordination and organization of a complex operation are of utmost importance in accomplishing a critical mission.

It was with that mindset Thursday that Brig. Gen. Stacey Hawkins accepted a ceremonial flag from his predecessor in becoming the new Ogden Air Logistics Complex commander at Hill Air Force Base during a formal change-of-command ceremony.

As commander, Hawkins will lead a team of approximately 8,100 personnel who perform depot repair, overhaul and modification of various military aircraft, including the A-10, C-130, F-16, F-22, F-35 and T-38.

Additionally, the command includes maintenance of the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile system and a wide range of other equipment, such as landing gear, wheels and brakes, rocket motors, air munitions and guided bombs, photonics equipment, training devices, software, electronics, avionics, instruments, hydraulics, power systems and other aerospace components.

Hawkins arrives at Hill from Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, where he has served as director of logistics, engineering and force protection for Air Mobility Command since May 2015.

The 26-year Air Force veteran said the new assignment is a bit of a departure from his previous command mission.

"This is a change because now I'll be responsible for delivering aircraft systems, missiles and software to the (Air Force) warfighters who engage in operations all over the globe," he said. "Now, in this role, I'll be serving with the men and women of this (unit) to provide those weapons systems across the portfolio to those war fighters."

Hawkins said the work performed at Hill has always been vital to the military's global war fighting effort.

"Without the work that's done here and without the hard work that's happened here for decades, we would not be able to project (military) air power in the way we do all over the world," he said.

Hawkins will replace Brig. Gen. Steven Bleymaier, who is moving to Scott Air Force Base to replace Hawkins as director of logistics, engineering and force protection for Air Mobility Command.

Hawkins paid tribute to his predecessor's successful tenure by commending his leadership during his time at Utah's largest military installation.

"I would like to continue to build on Gen. Bleymaier's legacy," he said. "He's done a great job over the past two years that he has been here."

Hawkins said one of his goals as logistics commander will be to increase productivity where possible to improve the nation's war fighting capability worldwide.

"To the extent that we can produce the number of aircraft that war fighters need, the number of missiles the war fighters need, as well as writing software code that will allow (added capacity) to be incorporated into our mission (objectives), that's the work that will go on here," he explained. "It's very complex, but it's very necessary and important work for the entire nation."

The ability to effectively plan and build efficient supply chains, Hawkins noted, greatly impacts the military's capability to do its ultimate job of protecting the nation's interests.

Hawkins served as a maintenance officer for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada earlier in his career, allowing his family to become acquainted with life in the West. He said that experience has made his new assignment a welcome return for his family, who are excited about residing in the Beehive State after only being here a short time.

"We have been blown away! Utah has already made the short list of places that my wife would love to live after I retire from the Air Force," he said. "Everyone has been so welcoming. We've already engrained ourselves in the community and are just feeling all of the love and appreciation that the friendly Utah hospitality brings."