Team MacDill hosts 18th Air Force leadership

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shannon Bowman
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. Thad Bibb Jr., 18th Air Force commander and Chief Master Sgt. Chad Bickley, 18th AF command chief, visited MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Feb. 17-19.

During their visit, Bibb and Bickley viewed Team MacDill’s ability to deliver unmatched air refueling, installation and mission support. They also visited U.S. Central Command and toured a variety of base agencies that demonstrated MacDill’s readiness and resilience priorities.

“Across the 18th AF our wings are using innovation to get after it, and I see that here at MacDill,” said Bibb. “Your team is setting the pace and leading the way.”

In addition to Bibb and Bickley visiting the base, their spouses Shannon Bibb and Nicki Bickley met with installation representatives who provided insight to some of the services their agencies provide to Airmen and their families.

Eighteenth Air Force, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, was reactivated Oct. 1, 2003 as Air Mobility Command's sole numbered air force and is responsible for ensuring readiness and sustainment of approximately 36,000 active duty, Reserve and civilian Airmen. It consists of 12 wings and one stand-alone group. 18th AF’s mission is to present air mobility forces to Air Mobility Command and combatant commanders.

“The minute we stepped into our first briefing here, we could tell that the culture is to get after the mission and take care of the people who make the mission possible, so that resonates with our hearts,” Bickley said.

For the 6th Air Refueling Wing, this visit from the 18th AF leadership team was an opportunity to demonstrate how Team MacDill has answered the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s call to “accelerate change or lose.”

“Even when faced with the uncertainty of a global pandemic we can see MacDill’s passion to prepare for the high-end fight,” said Bickley.  “You’ve shown a commitment to the Accelerate, Change or Lose directive, and I am thoroughly impressed.”

Since assuming their roles as 18th AF leaders, Bibb and Bickley have remained committed to ensuring Airmen have the resources to maintain their mental, spiritual, physical and emotional readiness.

“It's great to see Airmen who are not only passionate about our mission, but are also passionate about taking care of each other,” said Bibb.  “And it says a lot about the leadership here at MacDill to roll out numerous diversity and inclusion and resiliency initiatives. I’m grateful for all they’re doing and I’m thankful for their leadership.”