It was a bittersweet moment as one commander said his goodbyes and another was welcomed by the crowd that gathered on historic Brown Parade Field early Tuesday morning.
Col. Timothy Faulkner outgoing U.S. Army Garrison commander passed the guidon to Maj. Gen. Reuben Jones, deputy commanding general, operations, Installation Management Command, who passed it to Col. Dan McFarland incoming USAG commander during the ceremony, which represents a symbolic transfer of leadership.
Faulkner was praised by Jones while reflecting on the work Faulkner has accomplished over the past three years.
â€œLike all great commanders he articulated his vision for the future. That focused relentlessly on providing Soldiers the resources, the resources needed to succeed in getting our Army ready for victory on any battlefield. As garrison commander, Tim spearheaded the garrisonâ€™s critical mission of supporting Soldiers and their training,â€ Jones said.
â€œTim led Fort Huachuca through a phenomenal transformation,â€ Jones added. Faulkner discussed some of the transformations that took place during his time as commander. â€œThese were fairly easy tasks; support all units, expand the airfield, build 100 million dollars in new facilities for unmanned aerial programs, plan for new Air Force unmanned squadrons and military intelligence units, facilitate the expansion of our electronic test range and build new Family and recreation programs, just to name a few.â€
â€œThis is only a start. Fort Huachucaâ€™s future is even brighter. We will finish the last of our new housing projects, leaving 95 percent of the Fortâ€™s housing no older than 15 years old. We have just completed an energy contract that will have the potential to install 100 million dollars in energy saving projects for the next three to five years. This will completely change the face of Fort Huachuca and have this post headed to become the first Army Installation at net zero,â€ Faulkner added.
Net zero means the installation will produce all energy it uses and not require supplemental energy production.
While turning the attention to the new commander, Faulkner shared this. â€œI know you are the right leader to take on this task, I wish you and your family the best in command. You will do a great job, and I appreciate our friendship.â€
Jones also welcomed McFarland and told him, â€œonce again our Army calls on you to lead this great community to excellence. We eagerly await you with your great skills, your great leadership and your great family.â€
McFarland thanked the crowd and told them, â€œKim and I look forward to serving this great community and building on the tremendous achievements of Tim and Lynne.â€
â€œLeaving any installation is always bittersweet â€” we have great memories here, great friendships. We love the town of Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca. This is where I met my husband 17 years ago, so this post holds a special place in our hearts. We are always looking forward to new challenges and opportunities as a family but we will miss Fort Huachuca dearly,â€ Lynne Faulkner said of the change of command.
â€œIt has been a great ride these last three years; it has been a challenge. We have gone through a lot of hard times and a lot of great times, and I wish him nothing but the best and God speed on his future endeavors,â€ said colleague Tom Borer, deputy garrison commander.
Before the change of command ceremony, Faulkner received the Legion of Merit Award and an additional award for improving the quality of life for teens in the Fort Huachuca, Sonoita, Huachuca City and Sierra Vista communities. Lynne received a Commanderâ€™s Award for Public Service and a certificate of appreciation from Garrison.
Faulkner and his wife and three sons will be moving to Fort Shafter, Hawaii. He will assume the position of deputy regional commander, IMCOM-Pacific.