OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --
The 557th Weather Wing held a change of command ceremony at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, June 25, 2020.
Col. Brian Pukall transferred command to Col. Patrick Williams in a ceremony presided by Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) commander.
“Colonel Pukall has left a lasting legacy of innovation by fostering a culture of technological improvement across the weather enterprise,” Haugh said.
Haugh also spoke about some of the wing’s innovative accomplishments under Pukall’s leadership, such as the 14th Weather Squadron’s Climate Go-Kit, which equips weather operators with country-specific environmental intelligence in contested, degraded and operationally limited conditions. He also highlighted the leveraging of high performance computing to enhance operations throughout the Department of Defense.
Pukall’s next assignment will be Chief of the Exercises Division at U.S. Southern Command.
“This organization has a proud tradition of excellence and it has been my great honor to be the wing commander, and now to be able to form part of the legacy of this organization,” Pukall said.
Williams, the incoming commander, previously led the wing’s 2nd Weather Group.
“The 557th WW is gaining a world-class leader and commander today,” Haugh said. “Pat, you are taking command of the 557th at a critical time. We are moving from successive regional conflicts to a future characterized by continual global competition. The perspective you gained at the most senior levels of the Department of Defense and globally integrated weather operations are exactly what we need to purpose the outcomes our Air Force is expecting. I look forward to your leadership as you take command.”
Williams addressed the wing for the first time as commander, thanking the wing for the work done in the last several years.
“You’ve done tremendous work and accomplished feats previously thought impossible by some,” Williams said. “You converted to data-centric operations, peer adversaries, and a combatant commander focus.”
Williams later added, “I envision this wing being the main influencer on operational decisions that keeps our adversaries guessing, that maximizes our kinetic and non-kinetic effects and options, and I want to be sought after by other units in the Air Force. I think together we can accomplish that vision.”
Steps were taken to integrate COVID-19 precautions into the ceremony while maintaining Air Force tradition. In addition to social distancing and sanitizing, the ceremony was broadcast on Facebook Live and Haugh officiated the event remotely.
The mission of the 557th WW, the Air Force’s only weather wing, is to exploit timely, accurate and relevant weather intelligence anytime and everywhere on the globe, enabling warfighters to ‘choose the weather for battle.’ The 557th provides around-the-clock authoritative terrestrial and space-environmental data, analyses, forecasts, threat-warning and threat-mitigation products and services for the DOD, military services, all geographic and functional combatant commands, the national intelligence community, allied and coalition partners at any location around the world.