SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — Air Mobility Command welcomed its new commander during a ceremony at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, Aug. 20. The ceremony marked a historic Air Force first with back-to-back female generals commanding a major command.
Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost succeeded Gen. Maryanne Miller during the ceremony, officiated by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.
Brown began by thanking Miller for her outstanding leadership during her two years in command.
“What a fast-paced two years it’s been,” Brown said. “Soon after taking command, Maryanne recognized the work ahead and shifted focus at the speed of relevance based on the National Defense Strategy.”
In the early months of 2020, Miller led AMC through a new, unique period in the world’s history against an unseen foe.
“By leveraging innovation and a whole lot of resolve, Air Mobility Command answered the nation’s call, generating and flying our most critical missions while also safeguarding our Airmen and families,” Brown said. “Air Mobility Command delivered millions of COVID-19 test swabs around the world.”
Brown detailed other innovations the command was responsible for conceiving to support COVID-19 response operations, such as the Negatively Pressurized Conex. He also praised the command for endlessly executing rapid global mobility, which he’s confident will continue into Van Ovost’s command.
Hours before the ceremony, Van Ovost was promoted to general, making her the fifth female general to ever serve in the Air Force and the Defense Department’s sole female four-star leader.
“There is no one more qualified and ready to take the reins of Air Mobility Command than Jackie,” Brown said. “We take great comfort in knowing you and your Airmen are ready to execute global reach, faster, farther and better than ever before.”
Addressing AMC for the first time as commander, Van Ovost thanked Airmen physically and virtually present for their steadfast efforts to achieve mission success.
“You are the reason Air Mobility Command continues to provide our combatant commanders unrivaled rapid global mobility,” Van Ovost said. “As a command, we will build upon these successes as we aggressively implement the National Defense Strategy through the unique mission sets we fulfill for our nation.”
Van Ovost has years of command experience organizing, training and equipping Mobility Air Forces for America.
“From the flightline to the front-line, from the cockpit to the clinic, we will develop leaders of character with a natural bias for action and a competitive, curious and innovative mindset,” she said. “We will grow Airmen who are resilient, multi-capable and digitally-adept — instinctively exploiting advances in data, computing and information technologies — and armed with the specific skills to deliver into the future.”
Air Mobility Command is the air component of United States Transportation Command, a unified, functional combatant command which provides support to the nine 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 Van Ovost to the command during the ceremony.
“This is about the great Airmen who comprise Air Mobility Command, postured and employed globally, 24/7,” Lyons said. “I am AMC’s biggest fan … I stand in awe of this Air Mobility Command team. Our Mobility Air Force stands alone as the best the world has ever seen.”
Miller, who retires after more than 39 years of service, received the Distinguished Service Medal for her outstanding leadership of AMC. In her last speech as commander, she thanked her Airmen for their service and sacrifices.
“To the Air Mobility Airmen around the world, thank you for the work you do every day to fortify our national security,” she said. “You serve at the heart of this nation … You inspired me … Each and every day of my command, I was driven. I was driven by your excellence.”
As AMC commander, Van Ovost is responsible for employing and integrating all Mobility Air Forces composed of nearly 107,000 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. Van Ovost is the fourteenth commander to lead the major command since its inception June 1, 1992.