MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Colonel Patrick J. Carley assumed command of the 42nd Air Base Wing in a ceremony officiated by Lt. Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, commander and president of Air University, July 23.
Upon taking command of the 42nd ABW, Carley becomes responsible for providing all base operating support, infrastructure and services support for 42,000 active-duty, Reserve, civilian and contractor personnel, students, families and retirees at Maxwell and Gunter Annex in direct support of Air University and its mission partners.
Cotton opened his remarks by first acknowledging the work of the previous commander, Col. Eric Shafa, who left for his assignment at National Defense University in early July, then encouraging Carley to continue the wing’s legacy of excellence.
“From me and the entire Air University family, we are proud to be your wingmen as we take this journey together,” said the general. “‘Team Shafa’ did a remarkable job in reaching the stars, but I ask you to take this incredible team to the heavens. Lead boldly and go long - we’ve got your back.”
Carley recalled the first time he arrived at Maxwell more than two decades ago, but little did he know then he would be back again in a very different role.
“I arrived to Maxwell Air Force Base, reporting into Officer Training School, 23 years ago,” Carley said. “On that hot summer day, I did not predict that I would be standing here today assuming command of the 42nd Air Base Wing. I’m very humbled to be here to take this responsibility.”
Carley said that one of his goals for the wing is for its Airmen to remember their legacy while continuing to strive for the future.
“Airmen of ‘Team 4-2’ need to be proud of their heritage, but they also need to be proud looking forward, be innovative and creative to do things better,” he said. “Some of you may have heard the phrase, ‘I’ve got your six,’ which means ‘I’ve got your back.’ So, when someone says they’ve got your six, or I’ve got your back, that means they’re right behind you, they’re looking out for you. That’s what Team 4-2 does every day.”