NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Friday marked the start of a new chapter at Joint Base Charleston.

Colonel Michael Freeman became the new Commander of the 628th Air Base Wing.

“To take such a distinguished wing and such an important mission, and to be able to come in and take command, I’m really excited,” said Col. Freeman.

Freeman is coming to the Lowcountry from Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington, where he served as the Mission Support Group Commander. In his new leadership position, he will oversee the 24,000 DoD personnel who make up the joint base, as well as assume responsibility for the $7.5 billion worth of base property.

“As the air base wing, we provide all of the facilities and everything in the background that makes Joint Base Charleston work,” explained Col. Freeman. “So, there are 67 mission partners that operate out of this joint base, across the spectrum. And we’re the ones that provide all of the background and the backbone that they can operate from.”

On Friday, Freeman was joined by friends, family, and colleagues for a Change of Command ceremony at the base. He follows in the footsteps of Colonel Marc Greene who spent the last two years as the Commander.

During his term, Greene worked with local healthcare providers to navigate the pandemic. He was also recognized for his leadership after Joint Base Charleston assisted with evacuation efforts in Afghanistan, last August.

On Friday, he gave his last salute.

“I’ve been in the Air Force for 22 years, 11 different assignments, I’ve been around nine different communities. Charleston is the most supportive I’ve seen to date and that’s a high bar,” said Col. Greene.

As he gets ready to take on the role of a lifetime, Freeman said he’s excited about the opportunity.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know the Lowcountry and the leaders and the people. I’ve just heard amazing things about it,” said Freeman.

As for Greene, he said he will retire and remain in the Lowcountry.