Blended wing gets new commander

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Paul Ross
  • 116th Air Control Wing
Col. Thomas Moore assumed command of the Nation's only blended Total Force wing in a ceremony held here, March 23. Following the Change of Command the colonel was promoted to brigadier general.

Brig. Gen. Moore has held various positions with the 116th Air Control Wing prior to this assignment including wing vice commander and deputy operations group commander. He comes to the 116th from the 165th Airlift Wing, Savannah, Ga. where he was the wing commander.

The general assumed command from Col. James Jones who had served as the commander since October 2005. Colonel Jones, who was also with the unit as Operations Group commander from October 2002 to May 2004, has been selected to be the commander of the 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.

"This has been an amazing assignment," said Colonel Jones. "I was convinced that after my Air Expeditionary Wing command opportunity I would have a follow-on assignment to the Pentagon. I never imagined I would have the chance to return to the wing and continue to refine the Total Force concept. I have great memories from every assignment we've had--but this one will always be special to me due to the great people in the wing and the tremendous things they accomplished during our time together."

Colonel Jones has 24 years of service with the Air Force. He has previously commanded at the flight, squadron and group level, as well as an Air Expeditionary Wing in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. Colonel Jones is a command pilot with more than 2,700 flying hours in the E-8C, the KC-135R, the E-3B/C, the TC-18E, the F-16A/B/C/D, the AT-38A/B, the T-37 and the T-38.

Col. Jones was the first Active Duty commander to lead the unique wing which combines Active Duty and Guard Airman, Army Soldiers and Civilians working side-by-side.

"Be very proud of who you are and what you bring to the fight," said Colonel Jones. "Nobody else can fill your role, and no other organization has a better understanding of Total Force application."

General Moore has more than 26 years of service. He has previously commanded at the flight, squadron and group level. The general graduated from the University of South Carolina and received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corp program in 1981. General Moore is a master navigator with over 3,500 total flying hours in the T-37, the KC-135A/R, the B-1B, the C-130H and the E-8C.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be back in the 116th Air Control Wing serving with the tremendous caliber of men and women within this great organization," said General Moore. "I am extremely proud of the work they have done in support of the Georgia Air National Guard's state mission and their phenomenal presence in the Global War on Terror."

General Moore's plan for the future will ensure the troops have all they need to get the job done.

"My plan is to support and provide the members of this wing with all the resources necessary to accomplish the mission in the manner they are accustomed from previous wing commanders," said General Moore. "I intend to continue leading one of the most demanding wings in this United States Air Force to even greater heights, while ensuring care and provision for the people and their families... People First...Mission Always."

The 116th is the only unit that operates the E-8C aircraft. The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar Systems is an airborne battle management, command and control intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform. Its primary mission is to provide theater commanders (ground and air) with ground surveillance to support attack operations and targeting that contributes to the delay, disruption and destruction of enemy forces. There are 17 aircraft in the inventory.