New Group Commander a Familiar Face at Hanscom

Col. Taona Enriquez,  the new commander of the 66th Air Base Group at Hanscom Air Force Base ~ Image (c) US Air Force, all rights reserved

The new commander of the 66th Air Base Group at Hanscom Air Force Base won’t need a map to find her way around the base.

Col. Taona Enriquez was first assigned to Hanscom in July 2016 for a two-year stint as a director of contract operations. She returned in July 2020 as deputy director, and then director, of contracting for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, leading a 500-person team that supported more than 300 programs valued at $4 billion.

Late in June Enriquez assumed air base group command during a ceremony in the massive hangar of the Aero Club flight training center on the base. The leadership transition occurs on a two-year cycle.

Enriquez succeeds Col. Katrina Stephens as commander of the air base group, the host unit at Hanscom.

The 66th is responsible for a range of services supporting more than 10,000 active duty, Reserve and National Guard military personnel; civilian contractors who work and live at Hanscom; and some 130,000 retirees, annuitants, and spouses in New England and upstate New York. The group is also part of the Air Force acquisition mission, including the Life Cycle Management Center, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and the joint-service military housing at Hanscom.

Lt. Gen. Shaun Q. Morris, commander of the Life Cycle Management Center, presided over the event. “This was an easy choice,” he said of the new commander. “She has demonstrated the ability to lead in a diverse set of jobs around the globe. She has excelled, and she has led, which makes her the perfect candidate to come in now.”

Enriquez entered the Air Force in 2001 as a graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminology.

Previous assignments have taken her to many parts of the world: as aide-de-camp to the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, as a military fellow in the office of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and in Afghanistan, Belgium, Germany, Pakistan, Portugal, United Kingdom, Florida, Texas, and Utah. Beginning in July 2014, Enriquez spent five months as legislative liaison, U.S. Central Command Legislative Affairs, in the Pentagon.

Enriquez received a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of New Mexico in 2011.

At the change-of-command ceremony, she noted that she has made “some strong friendships here at Hanscom, and I look forward to building them in a different capacity now with my new hat and I look forward to taking us to the next level.”

Gen. Morris also thanked and praised Stephens. “You built a spirit of innovation here at the organization. You enhanced diversity and inclusion. You have done all the things to execute the mission every single day,” he stated.

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