TUCSON, Ariz. - Davis-Monthan is an important part of the Tucson community.
Friday today the base welcomed a new leader.
In a Change of Command ceremony outgoing commander Colonel Scott Campbell passed the flag of the 355th Fighter Wing to Lieutenant General Mark Kelly and General Kelly passed it to new wing commander Colonel Michael Drowley.
With that flag comes command of Davis-Monthan, its 11 thousand military and civilian workers and the Air Force estimate of a $2.6 Billion impact to the local economy.
Earlier, Colonel Campbell remembered how during his command base cooperation with city and county government, the University of Arizona and local business helped convince Air Force top leaders to honor Davis-Monthan with the title of best base in the Air Force.
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild says commitment by the city helps keep the Air Force committed to keeping Davis-Monthan an active part of our community.
"I've talked with the Secretary of the Air Force. I've been in the Pentagon and they tell just, 'We're going to make the decisions about where people are stationed, what we have to do tactically but when those decisions are close we want to take our airmen and women to a community that is supportive of them, that when they're on the base and off the base they have the feeling we want them there."
As incoming commander, Colonel Drowley plans to build on a base that's already strong.
He says, “I hope it's as strong as it's ever been the partnership between the city, the state or the county, and the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, I think had really not only made the base successful, but everybody that's involved with that relationship. A strong healthy partnership between the two is what helps not only our airmen, but the defense of our country."