Col. Williams takes helm of wing

Col. Stephanie W. Williams, 940th Air Refueling Wing commander, speaks during a change of command ceremony July 16, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Prior to assuming command, Williams was the 349th Operations Group commander at Travis Air Force Base, California. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams)

Col. Stephanie W. Williams, 940th Air Refueling Wing commander, speaks during a change of command ceremony July 16, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Prior to assuming command, Williams was the 349th Operations Group commander at Travis Air Force Base, California. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams)

The 940th Air Refueling Wing Honor Guard presents the colors during the wing's change of command ceremony July 16th, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Col. Stephanie W. Williams took charge of the wing from Col. Craig C. Peters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brenda Davis)

The 940th Air Refueling Wing Honor Guard presents the colors during the wing's change of command ceremony July 16th, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Col. Stephanie W. Williams took charge of the wing from Col. Craig C. Peters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brenda Davis)

Maj. Gen. Randall A. Ogden, 4th Air Force commander from March Air Reserve Base, California, speaks during a change of command ceremony July 16, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Ogden served as the presiding officer as Col. Stephanie W. Williams assumed command of the wing from Col. Craig C. Peters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brenda Davis)

Maj. Gen. Randall A. Ogden, 4th Air Force commander from March Air Reserve Base, California, speaks during a change of command ceremony July 16, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Ogden served as the presiding officer as Col. Stephanie W. Williams assumed command of the wing from Col. Craig C. Peters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brenda Davis)

Col. Paul B. Hromanik, 940th Air Refueling Wing vice commander, leads a formation of wing members in saluting during a change of command ceremony July 16, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Following Air Force tradition, the formation gave the final salute to the wing’s outgoing commander, Col. Craig C. Peters, as well as the first salute to the incoming commander, Col. Stephanie W. Williams. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brenda Davis)

Col. Paul B. Hromanik, 940th Air Refueling Wing vice commander, leads a formation of wing members in saluting during a change of command ceremony July 16, 2017, at Beale Air Force Base, California. Following Air Force tradition, the formation gave the final salute to the wing’s outgoing commander, Col. Craig C. Peters, as well as the first salute to the incoming commander, Col. Stephanie W. Williams. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brenda Davis)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, California --

The 940th Air Refueling Wing stepped into the next era yesterday with Col. Stephanie W. Williams taking the helm as wing commander at Beale Air Force Base, California.

She replaced Col. Craig C. Peters, who returned to the east coast to serve as wing commander of the 512th Air Mobility Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

Hundreds of reservists, as well as base and community leaders, gathered to witness the ceremony. The presiding officer for the event was Maj. Gen. Randall A. Ogden, 4th Air Force commander, March Air Reserve Base, California.

As the wing flag was passed to Williams, it symbolized her acceptance of the position. The military tradition of passing the organizational flag symbolizes the passing of responsibility and authority to the new commander, a gesture which historically aided troops in knowing who to dedicate their loyalty and trust to.

Prior to her assignment here, Williams was previously the commander of the 349th Operations Group at Travis Air Force Base, California and officially took command of the 940 ARW on June 25, 2017. She is the 27th commander and second female to take the lead.

An effective team takes many different kinds of people with varying skills and talents to succeed,” she said. “I am honored to join your team and continue the important work you started with Col. Peters at the helm. I look forward to working with you, shoulder to shoulder.”

Williams is a command pilot with over 4,000 hours, primarily in C-130 aircraft.  She is now in charge of eight KC-135R Stratotankers and the organization, training, and equipping of approximately 1,200 Reserve personnel for worldwide deployment.