Lord Assumes Command At Keesler

Keesler's new commander says things have changed quite a bit since he was last assigned here.

Brigadier General William Lord assumed command of the 81st training wing Tuesday. He was a student at Keesler back in 1977. Now, he's returning to lead the troops.

General Lord admits he has a tough act to follow.

Air Force troops positioned themselves on the parade field. They received salutes from Keesler's outgoing commander and his successor.

General Michael Peterson performed a final commander's inspection. The man who's led the 81st training wing the past two years says he'll long remember this assignment. Many deployed troops have direct ties to the Biloxi base.

"Let me tell you. You can't go to a deployed location in Iraqi Freedom and not find Keesler graduates. That's what they're doing. They're doing exactly what our Air Force needs them to do. They're warriors. They're making a difference," said General Peterson.

General William Lord is getting used to following in General Michael Peterson's footsteps. General Peterson also preceded him at Langley Air Force base. His challenge at Keesler is building upon success.

"As you know, he just went through an operation readiness inspection and the wing did wonderfully. So, I have a pretty easy job to come into because the wing is running so well right now," said General Lord.

As he reviewed the troops for the first time, General Lord said he recognizes that assuming command of the 81st training wing is an enviable assignment.

"I'm honored and proud to be here as a member of the Air Force's premier team at Keesler," General Lord said.