Joint base leader to get next challenge

Col. Meeker

The Air Force colonel who oversaw the combination of most of Charleston's military units into one joint base is leaving for a new posting in Europe.

Col. Martha Meeker is stepping down for her new assignment with the title special assistant to the commander, U.S. European Command, in Mons, Belgium, among other ranking duties.

The move is part of the military's regular rotations. She is being succeeded by Col. Richard D. McComb, who is coming from Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. He is currently the security forces division chief at Headquarters Air Mobility Command.

The formal change of command ceremony is set for July 14 at the base.

Meeker took over as commander of Charleston's new 628th Air Base Wing last year, leading the Pentagon's "joint-basing" effort where management of commands from different branches of the military services are combined under one umbrella in the name of efficiency.

In the local management tier, it combined the air base, the Navy's Consolidated Brig and about 50 more military commands in the area.

Meeker was not available for an interview Friday. When she assumed command in January 2010, she called it a "good day" being able to come in and "look out for and serve your fellow DoD (Department of Defense) personnel."

As commander, Meeker oversaw all non-operational elements, including housing, facilities, security, child welfare, public works, personnel, public affairs, legal, food service, contracts and recreation.

She managed about 2,100 support personnel, including engineers, contract specialists, explosive ordnance personnel, firefighters and medical teams.

Previously, Meeker worked as a computer programmer, a commander at the Air Force Academy, and a navigator for EC-135s and E-3As. She has flown overseas as part of NATO, and has logged more than 1,900 flight hours.

She has been stationed around the country and world, from California to Alabama to Germany.