Tuck takes charge of 18th Air Force

Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, Air Mobility Command commander, passes the 18th Air Force guidon to Lt. Gen. Giovanni Tuck, the new 18th Air Force commander, during a change of command ceremony at the Scott Event Center, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, June 1, 2017. Tuck comes to 18th Air Force from U.S. Transportation Command where he served as the Director of Operations and Plans. As 18th AF commander, Tuck is responsible for the command's worldwide operational mission of providing rapid global mobility and sustainment for America's armed forces through airlift, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation and contingency response. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher)

Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, Air Mobility Command commander, passes the 18th Air Force guidon to Lt. Gen. Giovanni Tuck, the new 18th Air Force commander, during a change of command ceremony at the Scott Event Center, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, June 1, 2017. Tuck comes to 18th Air Force from U.S. Transportation Command where he served as the Director of Operations and Plans. As 18th AF commander, Tuck is responsible for the command's worldwide operational mission of providing rapid global mobility and sustainment for America's armed forces through airlift, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation and contingency response. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --

Lt. Gen. Giovanni Tuck assumed command of 18th Air Force during a ceremony at the Scott Event Center here today.

Tuck succeeds Lt. Gen. Sam Cox, who led the country’s largest numbered air force since October 2015 and will retire from the Air Force Friday. 

As 18th AF commander, Tuck will lead Air Mobility Command's operational mission as Air Forces Transportation, the air component of U.S. Transportation Command. He is responsible for the command's worldwide operational mission of providing rapid, global mobility and sustainment for America's armed forces through airlift, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and contingency response. Additionally, Tuck also commands Task Force 294, which oversees Air Force tanker operations in support of U.S. Strategic Command. 

Tuck said he is looking forward to working with the professionals of 18th AF. 

"We’re going to focus on speed,” Tuck said. “We’re going to focus on safety and on the culture of safety. And we’re going to focus on success, not in the way we would describe it, but in the way our customers and the people we work with grade what we do." 

A command pilot with more than 4,800 hours in 11 aircraft, Tuck comes to 18th Air Force from U.S. Transportation Command where he served as the Director of Operations and Plans. As director, he was responsible for directing the deployment of forces and distribution of supplies and equipment for humanitarian, peacetime and wartime operations for the Department of Defense. 

Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, Air Mobility Command commander, said Tuck is the right Airman at the right place at the right time. 

"He’s an exceptional leader and aviator who knows the business from the tactical to the strategic,” Everhart said. “We need him at the controls of a critically important mission with global requirements and impact. He is the right leader for the job.” 

Tuck promised the Airmen of 18th Air Force he would give them his very best. 

“Like Gen. Goldfein said when he took command of our Air Force, I’m going to give you everything I’ve got and leave nothing on the table,” he said. “We’re going to look at every opportunity that’s laid before us and every challenge that we have and turn them into excellence and success.”