Change of Command, Family Day at Key Field

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A day filled with family and fun began with a change of command ceremony at the Air National Guard base at Key Field. Colonel William Platt who has been part of the Mississippi Air National Guard for 20 years, and most recently served as Commander of the 286th Air Operations Group, says he will cherish his time spent here as Commander.

"When we naturally got the mission it fell to me to be the most qualified person to be the commander. It was just an honor to be able to serve in that capacity."

As Colonel Platt moves on to be a Base Commander in Florida, Colonel Uriel "Bruce" Strickland, who has also been a longtime member of the Mississippi Air National Guard, has officially taken over Base Commander duties, and has some plans for the unit.

"We'll actually end our conversion as a new unit and become fully operational in October of the coming year. We'll continue to support the national defense and national security missions."

This ceremony led up to family day, where guardsmen's families came out to see the base and visit with their loved ones. There were plenty of family friendly activities and volunteers say all the work they put into it is worth it, while Mayor Cheri Barry says she's proud of our community's military.

"It's for the families. It's just for everybody to have fun. We love doing it and we love seeing the kids' faces light up."

"It's a time to celebrate Christmas, and love, and giving, and working together. This community supports our military and i am just really proud to be out here in celebration of what we have in Meridian."