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Marine helicopter unit, 300 jobs leaving Robins Air Force Base

A Marine helicopter unit is leaving Robins Air Force Base next year taking about 300 jobs with them.

Chrissy Miner, head of the 21st Century Partnership, says the unit is leaving due to consolidation in the Marine Corps. They're cutting back from three chopper units nationwide to two.

"We are saddened that unit is leaving. In this fiscal environment, every service is looking for ways to save money," Miner said. "Unfortunately, this is how it rears its head."

The Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 just arrived in Robins five years ago due to base realignment.

Miner expects they'll leave Robins by next summer.

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New Robins Commander calls base "efficient and effective"

The new Commander of Robins Air Force Base says he feels "right at home" after two months on the job.

Col. Jeffery King described the operations at Robins as "efficient and effective".

The Houston County Commissioners gave him an official welcome at Tuesday's meeting.

King said employee safety efforts at Robins are going well, and described the relationship between management and the unions as "strong".

He said the budget will be one of the biggest challenges ahead.

King said, "I think Robins Air Force base, along with every other installation today, is dealing with the larger budgetary woes that surround Sequestration, and a declining budget. We have to make tough choices between roads and grounds or supporting operations, but at the end of the day, taking care of airmen is very, very important."

Behind the Lines: Mobility Unit prepares Robins airmen to deploy

Every week at Robins Air Force base, airmen get the call to leave home and head for far-away destinations.

13WMAZ went Behind the Lines to see how the mobility section boils deployments down to a science.

Before airmen can take off, they have to land a seat in a deployment class.


Saudi Arabia seeks Robins AFB partnership

A new business venture with Robins Air Force Base and the Royal Saudi Air Force could pay off big for local industry.

The Kingdom wants to utilize the same industries that support Robins, the hub of the F-15 aircraft the Saudis use.

The F-15 aircraft is the source of business potential.

Around 50 companies, both local and national, came to "Industry Day" at the Museum of Aviation to pitch their business.

Lt. Col. Jeff Hamblin, the Foreign Military Sales Branch Chief, explains Saudi Leaders have allocated 2.5 billion dollars to Robins Air Force Base, which will be spent on five business contracts that will support the Royal Saudi Air Force.

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RAFB's 116th Air Control Wing gets new commander

The 116th Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base got a new commander Saturday.

Nearly 1,200 people make up the 116th, and after two and half years, Colonel Kevin Clotfelter handed the controls over to the new leader.

Robins' technician puts planes back in flight

Heroes come in all forms, even those who some might consider "behind the scenes."

The airmen above need help from those with their feet on the ground.

"Something as simple as a piece of avionics equipment. If that's not working properly in the airplane, the airplane can't fly."

It might be simple for Staff Sergeant Thorval Munksgaard. However, in Robins' Air Logistics Center, he works with complicated components.

"I've always been interested in electronics," he explains. "When I decided to join the Air Force, this seemed like it would be a really good career for me to pursue. >

He recently helped solve a problem that left the entire Air Force B-52 fleet stuck on the ground.

"That means the mission's not getting done," says Munksgaard. "The mission has to get done."

Robins Air Force Base gets new installation commander

Robins Air Force Base welcomed a new commander Thursday morning.

The passing of the flag served as the passing of the torch from Colonel Chris Hill to Colonel Jeff King.

He is now the installation and 78th Air Base Wing as installation commander.

"A change in face really isn't a change in mission," King says.

He served as commander of the 18th Maintenance Group at the Kadena Air Base in Japan.

"We've done everything we can to ensure a smooth transition."

King has met several times with former commander, Colonel Hill, to learn more about operations at Robins

"The difference is just understanding the people and processes behind making that happen here," King explains.