Befitting a military installation, there is a cadence to the command of Keesler Air Force Base. The commander usually stays around for a couple of years and usually wears a newly acquired star upon arrival or departure.
In that sense, not even Hurricane Katrina disrupted the routine rhythm of command at Keesler. Paul Capasso took over the 81st Training Wing less than a year after being promoted to brigadier general and departs today just shy of two years in that post.
But what took place during Capasso’s command was anything but routine. He arrived on base before it had dried out from Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge and took charge of one of the most massive disaster recovery efforts in the annals of the United States Air Force.
With excellent and able assistance from his lieutenants, Capasso quickly had Keesler back in commission. Their accomplishments have received numerous awards and Capasso’s personal role was recognized last year when he was named one of South Mississippi’s 10 Outstanding Community Leaders.
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As we welcome his successor, Col. Gregory Touhill, we salute the outstanding tenure of Brig. Gen. Paul F. Capasso while in command of the 81st Training Wing at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi — and we gratefully thank him for it.