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Eighteenth Air Force Welcomes New Commander

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Cory O'Dell
  • 18th Air Force Public Affairs

Eighteenth Air Force welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony here, Aug. 19, 2022.

Maj. Gen. Corey Martin assumed command from Maj. Gen. Kenneth “Thad” Bibb during the ceremony, officiated by General Mike Minihan, Air Mobility Command commander.

Prior to taking command, Martin served as the Director of Operations, Headquarters U.S. Transportation Command, here. He began his tenure by discussing how his previous role prepared him for command of the 18th Air Force.

“The past few years I was the Transportation Command Director of Operations,” Martin said. “I published a lot of orders, and they often landed in the hands of Airmen in 18th Air Force.”

However, Martin explained how the accomplishments of the command during the last two years have provided inspiration.

“When you’re leading 18th Air Force Airmen who are warfighters, who are taking care of our national defense, I think it is better to be on the receiving end of those orders,” said Martin.

As AMC’s sole numbered air force, 18th Air Force supports AMC’s worldwide mission of providing rapid global mobility to America’s armed forces through airlift, aerial refueling, and aeromedical evacuation.

Throughout his speech, Minihan praised Bibb for the performance of the command over the last two years and the impact it made around the world.

“The numbers don’t lie,” said Minihan.  “The millions of passengers moved, the millions of pounds of cargo and fuel delivered, and thousands of patients transferred to higher levels of medical care in the past two years are remarkable. But the legacy for which you will be remembered is more than what is on the stat sheet. Each of those numbers represents a promise that our joint forces always had the supplies they needed, always had the fuel in the air, and always had a ride home to their loved ones.”   

Bibb, who will become the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of the Air Force, shared memories of his time as commander.

“To the warriors of 18th Air Force, you are what makes this numbered air force so successful,” said Bibb. “I told you when I arrived we would set the bar high, and you have exceeded every expectation. From Afghanistan to Russia, from China to Africa, you have made a huge impact on the defense of our nation and our allies. You have embraced innovation and have the results to show for it. You have been recognized as the best of the best, but more than awards or decorations, you know you are ready for any mission – anytime, anywhere.”

Minihan also outlined Martin’s background and experience, explaining that he is the absolute right person to lead the command, and if called, to defeat our adversaries.

“The fight to ensure our Airmen have the tools they need to be successful is on you now,” said Minihan. “Our proud mobility exceptionalism comes from our Airmen, and I ask that you continue to empower them and ready them for the next fight.” 

As the 18th Air Force commander, Martin is responsible for the readiness and sustainment of approximately 36,000 active duty, Air Force Reserve, and civilian Airmen at 12 wings and one direct reporting unit.

“To be where the leading edge is meeting the atmosphere, where the rubber is meeting the runway,” Martin ended. “That’s where I look to meet you in command, and once again it’s time to expedite.”