SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Air Mobility Command welcomed a new commander during a ceremony at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, Oct. 5.
Air Force Gen. Michael A. Minihan took command from Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. officiated the ceremony.
“The backbone to the most capable joint force in history is our mobility air forces of 110,000 strong, that can deliver American service members and combat capability across the globe, anytime, anywhere,” said Brown.
Van Ovost will soon take command of U.S. Transportation Command, also located at Scott Air Force Base as the third woman in U.S. history to lead a combatant command and first woman to lead USTRANSCOM.
“Jackie, without you, AMC and its Airmen would not be where they are today,” said Brown. “We’re going to miss you, but you’re not going very far. We’re excited to watch you lead TRANSCOM and our joint force.”
Brown praised the command for endlessly projecting rapid global mobility, the mission he’s confident will continue to evolve and meet Joint Force needs during Minihan’s tenure.
“Today, we pass the guidon to General Mike Minihan,” Brown continued. “There’s certainly no one more qualified and ready to lead Air Mobility Command following Jackie. He’s a true leader who empowers Airmen to solve problems.”
As AMC commander, Minihan is responsible for employing and integrating all Mobility Air Forces comprised of nearly 110,000 Total Force Airmen along with nearly 1,100 aircraft. AMC sustains America's military operations worldwide through its airlift, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation and air mobility support capabilities. The command also responds to humanitarian crises worldwide.
Addressing the AMC Airmen for the first time as commander, Minihan said “I am definitely proud to be called to lead the best mobility team on the planet.”
Minihan most recently served as deputy commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii, directing and enabling activities and operations that supported the combatant commander’s priorities.
Air Mobility Command is the air component of United States Transportation Command, a unified, functional combatant command which provides support to the 10 other U.S. combatant commands, the military services, defense agencies and other government organizations for a wide array of joint mobility missions.
Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, USTRANSCOM commander, spoke about his experience with AMC Airmen and welcomed Minihan to the command during the ceremony.
“This AMC team creates multiple dilemmas for our adversaries and creates multiple options for our national leaders,” said Lyons. “One of the many things which makes our joint force so impressive is that as one leader departs, their relief is just as impressive. I assure you, there is no more qualified leader to command Air Mobility Command at this critical time in history.”
Minihan concluded the ceremony by encouraging Mobility Airmen to continue their outstanding dedication to accelerating change.
“When they said there is no way: too many people, too far, only one runway, you said ‘just watch us,’” Minihan said, referencing Operation Allies Refuge, the largest non-combatant evacuation operation in U.S. history. “With the next fight brewing, this team will be ready,” he said. “Just watch us.”
Minihan is the 15th commander to lead the command since its inception June 1, 1992.