WARNER ROBINS -- A colonel already serving at Robins Air Force Base has been named the new installation commander.
Col. Christopher Hill, the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex deputy commander for maintenance, will take over duties as 78th Air Base Wing and installation commander next year. A specific date hasnt been set yet.
He will replace Col. Mitchel Butikofer, who will receive a new assignment and is expected to rotate out in the summer, according to a base release.
Butikofer has served in the position since July 2011.
The installation commander is often referred to as the mayor of the base, responsible for security, building and infrastructure maintenance, firefighting, recreation and mission support. He commands about 4,700 personnel.
Butikofer has been a popular commander with community leaders. At Perrys State of the Community luncheon on Thursday and prior to the announcement, Houston County schools Superintendent Robin Hines lauded Butikofer, who was in attendance, for his support of the school system.
I want to thank Col. Butikofer for the relationship we have with the base, Hines said. Im telling you, Col. Butikofer, its never been better, and you are responsible for that. You and your wife have done a great job.
According to the release, Butikofer has championed mass transit, suicide prevention efforts, mission support, safety and health during his time as commander.
Taking care of our airman -- military and family members, civilians and contractors -- is vital to our success, especially for our warfighters and our nations defense, Butikofer said in the release. I will continue my efforts in making Robins the installation of excellence.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.