688th IOW conducts change of command

Maj. Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, 24th Air Force commander, officiates the 688th Information Operations Wing change-of-command ceremony July 23, as Col. Michael C. Harasimowicz reports having assumed command. The ceremony was held at the Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, Gateway Club. Chief Master Sgt. William Jones, 688th IOW command chief, acts as the guidon bearer for the ceremony, a symbol of the authority being vested in the incoming commander. Col. Paul A. Welch, the outgoing commander, moves to the position of 24th Air Force vice commander. (U.S. Air Force Photo/William Belcher)

Maj. Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, 24th Air Force commander, officiates the 688th Information Operations Wing change-of-command ceremony July 23, as Col. Michael C. Harasimowicz reports having assumed command. The ceremony was held at the Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, Gateway Club. Chief Master Sgt. William Jones, 688th IOW command chief, acts as the guidon bearer for the ceremony, a symbol of the authority being vested in the incoming commander. Col. Paul A. Welch, the outgoing commander, moves to the position of 24th Air Force vice commander. (U.S. Air Force Photo/William Belcher)

Maj. Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, 24th Air Force commander, officiates the 688th Information Operations Wing change-of-command ceremony July 23, as Col. Michael C. Harasimowicz reports having assumed command. The ceremony was held at the Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, Gateway Club. Chief Master Sgt. William Jones, 688th IOW command chief, acts as the guidon bearer for the ceremony, a symbol of the authority being vested in the incoming commander. Col. Paul A. Welch, the outgoing commander, moves to the position of 24th Air Force vice commander. (U.S. Air Force Photo/William Belcher)

Maj. Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, 24th Air Force commander, officiates the 688th Information Operations Wing change-of-command ceremony July 23, as Col. Michael C. Harasimowicz reports having assumed command. The ceremony was held at the Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, Gateway Club. Chief Master Sgt. William Jones, 688th IOW command chief, acts as the guidon bearer for the ceremony, a symbol of the authority being vested in the incoming commander. Col. Paul A. Welch, the outgoing commander, moves to the position of 24th Air Force vice commander. (U.S. Air Force Photo/William Belcher)

Col. Michael C. Harasimowicz, incoming 688th Information Operations Wing commander, speaks to the audience at the wing change-of-command ceremony held at the Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, Gateway Club July 23. The ceremony was officiated by Maj. Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, 24th Air Force commander. Col. Paul A. Welch, the outgoing wing commander, moves to the position of 24th Air Force vice commander. (U.S. Air Force Photo/William Belcher)

Col. Michael C. Harasimowicz, incoming 688th Information Operations Wing commander, speaks to the audience at the wing change-of-command ceremony held at the Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, Gateway Club July 23. The ceremony was officiated by Maj. Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, 24th Air Force commander. Col. Paul A. Welch, the outgoing wing commander, moves to the position of 24th Air Force vice commander. (U.S. Air Force Photo/William Belcher)

Col. Michael C. Harasimowicz, incoming 688th Information Operations Wing commander, speaks to the audience at the wing change-of-command ceremony held at the Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, Gateway Club July 23. The ceremony was officiated by Maj. Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, 24th Air Force commander. Col. Paul A. Welch, the outgoing wing commander, moves to the position of 24th Air Force vice commander. (U.S. Air Force Photo/William Belcher)

Col. Michael C. Harasimowicz, incoming 688th Information Operations Wing commander, speaks to the audience at the wing change-of-command ceremony held at the Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, Gateway Club July 23. The ceremony was officiated by Maj. Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, 24th Air Force commander. Col. Paul A. Welch, the outgoing wing commander, moves to the position of 24th Air Force vice commander. (U.S. Air Force Photo/William Belcher)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - LACKLAND, Texas -- The 688th Information Operations Wing conducted a change-of-command ceremony at the Gateway Club on Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland Tuesday, July 23. Maj. Gen. Kevin McLaughlin, 24th Air Force commander, officiated the ceremony transferring command authority of the cyberspace wing from Col. Paul A. Welch to Col. Michael C. Harasimowicz.

"I envision that the 688th Wing will continue to aggressively innovate new weapon system capabilities, train future generations of cyberspace operators, and dominate the conduct of warfare in the cyber domain," said Harasimowicz. "We will shape the battlespace and drive it forward. Future conflicts will undoubtedly have a significant cyber component and mastering that domain is an operational imperative."

Harasimowicz's previous assignment was vice commander of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, located at Fort George G. Meade, Md. He previously commanded the 33rd Information Operations Squadron and the 91st Network Warfare Squadron.

As the commander of the Air Force Computer Emergency Response Team on Lackland, he led his team to earn the NSA Information Assurance Rowlett Trophy for 2007 at the Department of Defense level. He directed operations for U.S. Air Force cyber tactics development including U.S. Strategic Command's first global network defense exercise. He served as the director for defense policy and strategy within President Obama's National Security Council focused on cyber policy and homeland defense.

"My family and I are thrilled to be back at JBSA-Lackland, the Gateway to the Air Force," said Harasimowicz. "One of the first things we did was to attend last week's Basic Military Training graduation. There are few moments more precious than to watch the pride of our newest Airmen and the joy of their families."

The 688th IOW incorporates the missions of information operations and engineering to deliver proven infrastructure capabilities integrated across air, space and cyberspace. Initially established as the 6901st Special Communications Center on July 1, 1953, the organization underwent several redesignations through the years. The Air Force Information Operations Center was redesignated the 688th IOW Aug. 18, 2009, at the same time that 24th Air Force was stood up to extend, operate and defend the Air Force portion of the Department of Defense network and provide full spectrum capabilities in, through and from cyberspace.

"As Airmen, we must build on our legacy of innovation," said Harasimowicz. "I want the men and women of the 688th to know that we are part of the Air Force's Gateway to modern warfighting capabilities. We have so much to be proud of and so much more to do."

Welch moved to the position of vice commander, 24th Air Force.