688th Cyberspace Wing conducts change of command ceremony

Maj. Gen. Ed Burke, 24th Air Force commander, passes the wing guidon to Col. Michelle Hayworth during the 688th Cyberspace Wing’s change of command ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, July 17. Before coming to command the 688th Cyberspace Wing, Hayworth was the Communications Director for Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar/Released)

Maj. Gen. Ed Burke, 24th Air Force commander, passes the wing guidon to Col. Michelle Hayworth during the 688th Cyberspace Wing’s change of command ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, July 17. Before coming to command the 688th Cyberspace Wing, Hayworth was the Communications Director for Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar/Released)

Col. Michael Harasimowicz, 688th Cyberspace Wing commander, address the wing during the wing’s change of command ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, July 17. Harasimowicz commanded the wing from July 2013 to July 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar/Released)

Col. Michael Harasimowicz, 688th Cyberspace Wing commander, address the wing during the wing’s change of command ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, July 17. Harasimowicz commanded the wing from July 2013 to July 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar/Released)

Col. Michelle Hayworth, 688th Cyberspace Wing commander, shakes hands with Col. Michael Harasimowicz, former 688th Cyberspace Wing commander, during the wing’s change of command ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, July 17. Harasimowicz relinquished command after two years with the wing and is now retired from the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar/Released)

Col. Michelle Hayworth, 688th Cyberspace Wing commander, shakes hands with Col. Michael Harasimowicz, former 688th Cyberspace Wing commander, during the wing’s change of command ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, July 17. Harasimowicz relinquished command after two years with the wing and is now retired from the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Johnny Saldivar/Released)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The 688th Cyberspace Wing officially welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony July 16, 2015 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Col. Michelle Hayworth took command of the 688th Cyberspace Wing from Col. Michael Harasimowicz, who commanded the wing since July 2013.

Maj. Gen. Ed Wilson, 24th Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony and said that Hayworth was the perfect fit for the wing.

"[Hayworth] is absolutely the right person to take over the helm of the 688th," Wilson said
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This is Hayworth's fourth tour in the San Antonio area.  She started her Air Force career as an enlisted computer programmer before going to Officer Training School at Medina Annex in San Antonio.  This is also not her first time in the 24th Air Force, having served as the commander of the 690th Network Support Group, now the 690th Cyberspace Operations Group, from July 2011 to July 2013.

"It's always comforting when you have a wing commander coming in who has a history with the organization they are taking over," Wilson said.  "It's reassuring as a commander that we've got top-notch talent with experience."

At her last assignment as the Communications Director for Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, Hayworth experienced the talent of the 688th Cyberspace Wing.

"I saw firsthand the high demand for all the capabilities the 688th brings to the fight," Hayworth said. "I look forward to the important work we have ahead to continue to grow this mission set."

This was Harasimowicz last command and last job on active duty as he prepares for retirement.

"[Harasimowicz] has done an amazing job," Wilson said.  "If you look at the unit, it has been setting all kinds of records.  I don't think there has ever been a time in our Air Force that warfighters are seeing cyber capabilities at the pace, the scale and the scope of what we are seeing today.  One of the primary reasons is because of the 688th.  We are desperately going to miss you.  We entrusted you with a tremendous unit.  It's grown by leaps and bounds, and you have really inculcated it with a special culture, caring for our Airmen, getting the mission done and innovation.  You've taken it to the next level, which is amazing, and you should be proud."

Harasimowicz served more than 25 years in the Air Force as an intelligence officer working in information and cyberspace operations.

"This has been a phenomenal unit and it's only going to go faster, funnier and even better," Harasimowicz said.  "You are making history and it's been fantastic to watch.  The history that we have had in the past and where we are going to go in the future is bright.  It has been my absolute honor to serve you as your wing commander."

Heyworth echoed the dedication and success of the wing upon taking command.

"To the men and women of the 688th, I cannot thank you and your families enough for your dedication," she said.  "The continued success of this outstanding organization is due to the hard work and the commitment of each and every member of this team.  I value each of you and I don't take any of what you do or your contributions for granted.  It is truly an honor to be your commander."