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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.

Robins leaders travel to Tinker

Several leaders in the Robins Air Force Base community flew to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma this week.

They went for a Change of Command ceremony Friday for the General in charge of the Air Force Sustainment Center at Tinker.

Lt. General Lee Levy took command from retiring Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, as commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center.

That's the complex that oversees operations at Robins.

The group of 14 included Congressman Austin Scott, Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert, Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms, and Houston Commission Chairman, Tommy Stalnaker.

Stalnaker said it's important that the Air Force recognize Central Georgia's support, in order for the military to keep investing in Robins' future.

Behind the Lines: Elite Guard Robins first defense

Always vigilant and always ready.

The Robins Air Force Base Elite Guard stands between the base gates and potential threats. 13WMAZ went "Behind the Lines" to see how they thwart attacks and handle controversies directed at their duties.

Before dawn or until after dusk, the two-dozen elite guard members stand on the lookout. Their antennas are attuned to anything out of the ordinary.

"If a driver is doing anything suspicious or doesn't belong here," Sgt. John Duffin said.

B-17 Flying Fortress coming to Museum of Aviation

One of the Air Force's most popular planes will be joining the Museum of Aviation.

Ken Emery, the museum director, says the most asked about planes are the SR-71 Blackbird and B-17 Flying Fortress bomber.

The museum currently houses a Blackbird and the bomber will come in August. The Flying Fortress is currently housed in Indiana.

It was produced in 1945 and flew missions for the Air Force until 1959. Emery says the museum has been looking for a B-17 to bring in for several years. They're hoping to raise $200,000 to help get the plane on display.

It will take about $70,000 to move the Flying Fortress and the rest will go to repairs. Emery says it could take 3 to 5 years to fully restore the bomber.

10 historical facts about Memorial Day

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Here are 10 fast facts about Memorial Day, a holiday honoring American soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country:

• Even though numerous communities had been independently celebrating Memorial Day for years, the federal government declared Waterloo, N.Y. the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo first celebrated the holiday on May 5, 1866.

• Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30 for decades, but in 1971, Congress established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May and a federal holiday.

• Memorial Day originally honored military personnel who died in the Civil War (1861-1865).

• Roughly 620,000 Americans died in the Civil War — making it the deadliest war in American history. About 644,000 Americans have died in all other conflicts combined.

Camellia Garden memorial service held at Robins

Memorial Day is Monday, but Robins Air Force Base held their Camellia Garden Memorial Service Thursday morning.

Hundreds gathered at Robins to remember those past and present who have lost their lives in service to our country.

Bells rang as the names of more than seventy people were read, something Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms says hits close to home.

"The number of people mentioned today and honored today all served primarily here in my hometown where I grew up, where many of my family members also served here, and some are serving here at Robins, so it's a humbling experience," said Toms.

The Camellia Garden Memorial Service has been going on for the last 39 years.

Robins Air Force Base wants to prevent workers' falls

Workers who could experience falls at Robins Air Force Base, were shown demonstrations on how to prevent them.

"We do use harnesses quite a bit because we do a lot of [working on hoists]," said Juan Solis. Solis is a maintenance worker and says his work can put him up to 135 feet in the air. He says the demonstration is a great way to reinforce what workers have already learned.

"It could range from CE to telecommunications to a wide variety of folks all across the installation," said Scott Eck, the Installation Chief of Safety.

Eck says injury should not be part of the job description.

"Everybody should expect when they come to work, to come to work, do their job and go back home to their families at the end of the day," he said.