Colonel Stacy Yike assumes command of 66th Air Base Group

Published 3:04 pm Thursday, July 15, 2010

Col. Stacy L. Yike, the daughter of Roger and Marilyn Yike of Columbus, was recently named the commander of the newly activated 66th Air Base Group, Hanscom Air Force Base, Ma. The group supports the acquisition mission providing base, regional and readiness support for Electronic Systems Center, six Program Execution Offices, AF Research Laboratory and MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

The support region includes eight operating locations, 122,000 sq. miles, 350 programs with a $4.2B authority, 7.5M sq ft of facilities and over 200 geographically separated units composed of 20,000 military, civilian, contractors, dependents and 155,000 retirees in the six-state New England area and New York.

Colonel Yike received her commission as a distinguished graduate in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship program at Clemson University in South Carolina in 1989. She began her career in satellite system acquisition with assignments first at Los Angeles AFB, Ca., and then the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, Va. During this time, she participated in a space shuttle launch of the Defense Support Program satellite and developed groundbreaking international agreements to collaborate with U.S. allies on space systems.

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Her Air staff tours include serving as a Congressional Liaison Officer and the Deputy Director of Mission Support, Congressional and Budget for the Directorate of Space Acquisition. As an action officer on Joint Staff, she supported coalition activities from Western European allies for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

At the squadron level, Colonel Yike commanded the 338th Training Squadron at Keesler AFB where she led 200 personnel in the training of 5,000 airmen annually to develop communications-electronic systems maintainers for the United States Air Force.

Air Force Print News Today released the following press release about Yikes new position:

Col. Stacy L. Yike, commander of the newly activated 66th Air Base Group, has two priorities: the mission and the people who make it happen.

These priorities certainly arent new to anyone who has been around the Air Force, she said. They form the foundation that we all live by. Hanscom is full of experts who already know how to accomplish the mission, so my part is easy. I get to ensure the people have what they need to take care of themselves and take care of the mission.

While Colonel Yike has served in diverse roles throughout her career, in each of them she has served as a translator – not just interpreting language, as she did in Portugal as an Olmsted scholar, but also conveying user requirements to engineers as she did while working satellite programs. While serving with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, she worked with Western European allies to build the coalition in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. On Air Staff she developed the Air Force message on the space budget priorities.

Being a commander is different, Colonel Yike said. Her experience includes commanding the 338th Training Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., where she led 200 personnel in the training of 5,000 Airmen annually to develop communications-electronic systems maintainers for the Air Force.

You cant compare command to any other assignment, but my translator skills come in handy by helping individuals understand how their job contributes toward fulfilling the overall mission, Colonel Yike explained. Our mission here at Electronic Systems Center is to build communication systems and take that capability to the Warfighter. The 66th Air Base Group exists to make sure the ESC mission is realized. We as a base must be very tightly integrated, and I want to continue to drive towards that. Seeing our individual missions as supporting each other, and not just as individual contributions, helps us better support the overall Air Force mission.

One of the near term challenges to accomplish the mission will be resources. Colonel Yike adds that the perspective of fiscal shortages is not just a Hanscom issue or even an Air Force issue, but one that most Americans are facing today.

We are figuring out at an individual level how to manage the resources we have within our own families, she said. The Air Force mission is no different. As stewards of the American tax dollar, we have to make sure were doing our part.

Colonel Yikes guiding principle is to engage in activities that make a difference.

That is the reason I have remained in Air Force all these years, she said. I always felt like I was doing something that mattered.

I look forward to being a part of Hanscom Air Force Base and contributing to the mission that makes a difference in our Air Force and our nation, Yike said.