SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --
The 618th Air Operations Center, Air Mobility Command's hub for worldwide airlift, air refueling and aeromedical evacuation, received new leadership as Brig. Gen. Kenneth Bibb relinquished command to Brig. Gen. John Lamontagne during a change of command ceremony at Scott Air Force Base, 17 July 2017.
Bibb, who led the 618th AOC since September 2016, will serve as the Director, Air, Space and Cyberspace Operations, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. In this position, he will be responsible for shaping the workforce and cyber-secure infrastructure for operations to test, field and sustain agile war-winning capabilities. He will also be responsible for the command's flight and test policy, and resource allocation for flight management, airfield services, weather services, and command and control operations and plans. Lamontagne comes to the 618th AOC from his former post as the Deputy Director of Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration for Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. As Deputy Director he was responsible for worldwide policy, air operations, and transportation functions assigned to the command.
The 618th AOC is responsible for operational planning, scheduling, directing, and assessing a fleet of approximately 1,100 aircraft in support of combat delivery and strategic airlift, air refueling, and aeromedical operations around the world.
At the ceremony, 618th AOC members welcomed Lamontagne as their new commander and said farewell to Bibb as they honored his contributions to global mobility operations.
“I have seen firsthand the critical role this team plays in supporting a variety of missions including Operation Freedom Sentry, Operation Inherent Resolve, Vigilant Shield, Saber Strike, and Key Resolve” said Bibb. "Equally as important are our Aeromedical evacuations and relief operations accomplished during events like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the Mexico earthquake that followed soon after, and most recently the six critical pediatric patients airlifted from Guatemala to Galveston, TX. I am exceptionally proud of the men and women of the 618th AOC, and consistently awed by your dedication to the mission.”
While under Bibb's command, the 618th AOC was responsible for more than 105,678 sorties, moving over 1.5 million passengers and 753,832 thousand short tons of cargo to worldwide locations. The unit also performed more than 2,081 aeromedical evacuation patient movements and delivered more than 560 million pounds of gas via air-to-air refueling during Bibb's tenure.
"I am confident the AOC will continue to reach new heights with Brig. Gen. Lamontagne at the controls," added Bibb. "General Lamontagne, the AOC is on the cusp of change with some big milestones on the horizon. I trust in your leadership, and the outstanding team you have behind you, to steer this organization during the transition as you continue to modernize the 618 AOC. "
Lamontagne comes to the 618th AOC with an extensive background in mobility operations. As a KC-135 and C-17 pilot, he first came to the Air Operations Center when it was designated the Tanker Airlift Control Center (TACC) as a Major Command Regional Operations Director. Then, he went on to command the 15th Airlift Squadron at Charleston AFB, S.C., the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group in Southwest Asia and the 437th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, S.C.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to return to the 618th AOC and the opportunity to help take this organization one step further into the future," said Lamontagne. "The innovations and modernizations made throughout General Bibb’s tenure have been incredible and I can’t wait to see what we are able to accomplish together."
He also recognized the talent of the 618th AOC personnel and how they have successfully and persistently overcome every challenge they faced over the past several years.
"The work we will do together is as integral to the mission as pushing throttles or turning a wrench on the flight line," added Lamontagne. "Missions will not move without those actions, and they will not move without the expertise provided by the men and women of the 618th AOC. I'm honored to be your new commander, and humbled by the scope and importance of what you do every day."