Lee transfers command of Hawaii National Guard, state Civil... - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lee transfers command of Hawaii National Guard, state Civil Defense

Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong
Maj. Gen. Lee Maj. Gen. Lee

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KALAELOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. Neil Abercrombie and other dignitaries gathered at Kalaeloa Sunday afternoon to watch retiring state Adjutant General Robert Lee transfer his duties to Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong.

If confirmed by state lawmakers, Wong will wear many hats as the director of Hawaii's Department of Defense. He'll oversee the National Guard, state Civil Defense, Office of Veterans Services, and the Youth Challenge Academy.

Members of the Hawaii National Guard stood at attention, as their leader for the past eight years prepared to hand over the reins.

"Colors, forward march!"

As the state's Adjutant General, Robert Lee oversaw National Guard deployments to the Middle East, coordinated response efforts when natural disasters struck, and served as homeland security advisor to then-Gov. Linda Lingle.

"I can leave knowing that you are confident, competent and combat tested," Maj. Gen. Lee said. "I have full confidence that you will execute all missions assigned to the highest standards when your country or your community calls."

With the passing of colors, Gov. Neil Abercrombie's pick for adjutant general took command.

Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong, 60, is the former commander of the Air National Guard, was a pilot for Aloha Airlines, and is a flight instructor with thousands of hours in various military and commercial aircraft. He flew C-141s during the final years of the Vietnam War, while on active duty.

"Our top priority will be to the commitment to protect the people and the property of these islands from external threats and to provide the best possible relief and recovery following any natural disaster," Maj. Gen. Wong said.

Among his immediate tasks is planning security operations for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Honolulu later this year.

"Hopefully nothing will happen," Wong said. "But we'll prepare for it like we prepare for any hurricane or natural disaster."

He also wants to work with the governor in areas such as education, energy, technology and the economy.

"The Hawaii National Guard has a role," Wong said. "We will define and mature those roles in the months ahead."

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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