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Botardo takes command of 505th CS

  • Published
  • By Deb Henley, 505th Command and Control Wing Public Affairs
  • 505th Communications Squadron

The 505th Communications Squadron welcomed Lt. Col. Alex Botardo and said farewell to Lt. Col. Veronica Williams during a change of command ceremony, Hurlburt Field, Florida, June 10.

The change of command is a military tradition, representing a formal transfer of a unit’s authority and responsibility from one commander to another.  Col. Frederick Coleman, 505th Command and Control Wing commander, presided over the ceremony.

Before Botardo accepted the guidon and command, Williams shared, “the men and women of the 505th Communications Squadron exemplify pride of ownership of their mission and an incredible work ethic and enthusiasm in what they do to support the warfighter day-in and day-out. Thank you for your continued service to this nation and helping keep us the greatest air force in the world.”

Williams continued, “Without the 505th CS, much of what the 505th CCW does to support our air component, joint, and coalition warfighter exercises would be impossible. We ensure these warfighters get opportunities to train and exercise in a realistic cyber environment with the command, control, communication, and collaboration tools they will use in major combat operations. It has been my honor and privilege to serve with and for the 505th CS these past two years and lead such an amazing group of people at the heart of preparing and enabling the joint force to execute war-winning command and control of airpower.”

Alt caption: photo of three U.S. Air Force Airmen, two standing holding a unit guidon with Airmen standing in the background.

Botardo takes command of 505th CS

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Veronica Williams, 505th Communications Squadron outgoing commander, right, handing the squadron’s guidon to Col. Frederick Coleman, 505th Command and Control Wing commander, left, during a change of command ceremony, Hurlburt Field, Florida, June 10, 2022. The squadron directly supports the annual training of more than 60,000 joint and coalition warfighters with a primary focus on the operational level of command and control. U.S. Air Force Col. Frederick Coleman, 505th Command and Control Wing commander, left, handing the squadron’s guidon to Lt. Col. Alex Botardo, 505th Communications Squadron commander, right, during a change of command ceremony, Hurlburt Field, Florida, June 10, 2022. The squadron directly supports the annual training of more than 60,000 joint and coalition warfighters with a primary focus on the operational level of command and control. (U.S. Air Force photographer Shelton Keel)

As the commander, Botardo will direct mission execution with 59 personnel and over $23 million worth of command, control, communication, computers, and intelligence, or C4I, network and system equipment.  Additionally, the squadron directly supports the annual training of more than 60,000 joint and coalition warfighters with a primary focus on the operational level of command and control.

The 505th CS operates and maintains C2 systems and multiple networks and provides various modeling and simulation capabilities in support of joint and coalition training, exercises, training, and experimentation at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and multiple sites across the globe. The squadron designs, builds, sustains, and maintains a network backbone supporting 289,000 warfighters annually.

Lt. Col. Botardo’s previous assignment was the deputy, Current Operations Division, U.S. Forces Korea, Camp Humphreys, South Korea.  He led a 65-personnel joint team responsible for executing current operations and crisis response for the U.S. and allied forces during armistice, crisis, and war within the Korean Peninsula.

Coleman thanked Williams for an incredible job as leader and assured members in attendance that the squadron was in capable hands in Botardo.

Alt caption: photo of three U.S. Air Force Airmen, two standing holding a unit guidon with Airmen standing in the background.

Botardo takes command of 505th CS

U.S. Air Force Col. Frederick Coleman, 505th Command and Control Wing commander, left, handing the squadron’s guidon to Lt. Col. Alex Botardo, 505th Communications Squadron commander, right, during a change of command ceremony, Hurlburt Field, Florida, June 10, 2022. The squadron directly supports the annual training of more than 60,000 joint and coalition warfighters with a primary focus on the operational level of command and control. (U.S. Air Force photographer Keith Keel)

“I am extremely honored to take the guidon of the 505th CS as its next commander and to be part of the 505th CCW’s unique mission. My family and I look forward to not only working alongside but also getting to know the Flyin’ Lions,” said Botardo. “Maryanne and I are deeply grateful for this opportunity to lead the men and women of 505th CS and be a part of the 505th CCW family. We will strive daily to give our best to take care of the people and the mission of 505th CS, and hopefully, leave a lasting legacy for the organization’s future.”

Botardo continued, “I would like to thank everyone in the 505th CCW who helped my family transition to Hurlburt Field. Special thanks to Lt. Col. Veronica Williams and her family for their service to the 505th CS. We wish them well on their next adventure.”

Williams will continue her career as the 690th Cyberspace Control Squadron commander at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

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