OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --
The 2nd Weather Group held its change of command ceremony July 11, 2018, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
Col. Patrick Williams assumed command from outgoing commander Col. Jason Patla in a ceremony officiated by 557th Weather Wing Commander Col. Brian Pukall.
The incoming commander was previously the Joint Staff Space Branch chief as well as the Joint Staff Meteorological and Oceanographic Operations officer. He also commanded the 19th Expeditionary Weather Squadron during a deployment to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
“(Williams) has a strong record of superior performance and demonstrated leadership,” Pukall said. “He’s got a broad base of knowledge that he’ll bring to the 2nd WXG and to the wing… He’s got the right combination of skills to help the 2nd WXG go to the next level.”
During his time working for the Joint Staff, Williams was a customer of 2 WXG products. He integrated them into briefings and reports.
“The stuff that the 2nd WXG squadrons and the Airmen are doing - from cyber, to maintenance, to infrastructure that we have here, to the data center, to space weather products, climatology and modeling and all of that - has strategic level importance and national level importance,” Williams said. “That's what I saw when I was on the Joint Staff. It doesn't always trickle down to the Airmen actually doing the work, but these guys are doing phenomenal, phenomenal work with amazing mission impact that hits the highest levels at the national level.”
Patla’s next assignment will be commanding the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 157 in Daytona Beach, Florida. He was presented with the Legion of Merit for his accomplishments during the ceremony.
“Commanding the men and women of 2nd WXG has been a professional dream come true,” Patla said. “Our Airmen are not only the engine room of the wing, but of Air Force Weather as a whole, and I am so proud to have served by their side for these past two years.”
Patla was with the 557th WW before the Air Force Weather Agency transitioned into a wing.
“(Patla) had an absolutely pivotal role in the organizational transformation going from AFWA to a wing,” said Pukall. “He helped define what that means in terms of the roles and responsibilities.”
The 2nd WXG provides global, terrestrial, space and climatological environmental intelligence to the joint force, defense agencies, Department of Defense senior leaders, select members of the intelligence community, interagency partners and allied nations.