HILL AFB – A familiar face is taking the helm of the 75th Air Base Wing.
Col. Kathryn L. Kolbe, special assistant to the Air Force Sustainment Center commander, will take over on Jan. 11.
Kolbe will take the reins from Col. Sarah E. Zabel. Lt. Gen. Bruce A., Litchfield, commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center will officiate at the ceremony.
Kolbe has served as vice-commander since August of 2010, a role that has allowed her to become well acquainted with the base, said Layton Mayor Steve Curtis.
Typically, commanders serve for about three years and usually do not spend great lengths of time time at any base.
In her new role, Kolbe will be directly responsible for providing installation support for the Ogden Air Logistics Complex, two fighter wings, and 61 other units. That totals 24,000 active duty, civilian and contractor personnel.
The commander also directly supports Air and Space Expeditionary Forces operations and has base support responsibility for the operation of the 1,500 square-mile Utah Test and Training Range, a base press release said.
Kolbe is a native of Pennsylvania and brings 22 years of experience to her new role.
She obtained a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering at Leheigh University, holds a master’s degree in resource management from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., and has completed other training.
She started her military career as a contract programmer and community planner at McConnell AFB, Kansas and has extensive experience in environmental engineering assignments in South Korea, Japan, and the nation’s capital.
For three-and-a-half years, she oversaw housing privatization and more as deputy chief of protocol and aide de camp to the commander of the Air Education and Training Command at Randolph AFB in Texas.
Kolbe has served as operations flight commander to the 31st Civil Engineer Squadron in Aviano, Italy, commander of the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, and in Baghdad as chief, basing, facilities and environmental division for U.S. Forces Iraq J7 Directorate prior to coming to Utah.
Due to Air Force reorganization last year, Kolbe was previously vice-commander to Zabel.
Zabel will remain on base as special assistant to Kolbe.