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502nd Air Base Wing Welcomes New Commander, Thanks Gen. Carter

Eileen Pace

The 502nd Air Base Wing at Joint Base San Antonio has a new commander and local political and business leaders joined military dignitaries for the change of command ceremony at the base Wednesday morning.

Brigadier General Theresa Carter took command just months after the 502nd was relocated to San Antonio after the BRAC realignment and replacing Carter is Brigadier General Robert La Brutta, who comes to the 502nd with management experience.

La Brutta was most recently the director of manpower and personnel for the U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Gen. Edward A. Rice, Jr., commander of the Air Education and Training Command, presided over the change of command ceremony at Fort Sam Houston Wednesday. He praised General Carter’s leadership in mobilizing the 502nd to house 700 children from South and Central America on an emergency basis:

"And to mobilize all the resources of this wing to accomplish that very important mission, not just for DHHS, but for the DOD and the entire United States government was something to behold," Rice said. "And in fact, she was personally commended for her work in that regard in writing by the president of the United States."

Carter built up the 502nd during a time of hiring freezes, combined Randolph, Lackland and Fort Sam Houston into one cohesive entity, and oversaw the Lackland training command during its difficulties related to the boot camp instructor sex scandal over the past two years.

Carter has been nominated for her second star and will move into the position as chief engineer for the U.S. Air Force stationed in Washington.

Joint Base San Antonio is the largest base organization in the Department of Defense, and the 502nd Air Base Wing is responsible for JBSA support, including the DOD’s largest hospital, the San Antonio Military Medical Center, and training facilities at JBSA-Lackland and Randolph.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.