Leader Blues

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

TOP STORY >>Self gets advanced mobility command

By HEATHER HARTSELL
Leader staff writer

Brig. Gen. Kip Self, commander of Little Rock Air Force Base, who’s leaving Jacksonville in June for a new command in New Jersey, is succeding a general who himself was a commander at LRAFB.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley announced Self will become commander of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, Air Mobility Command, at Fort Dix, N.J., an Army installation adjacent to McGuire Air Force Base, that is an advanced training facility for mobility units.

Self’s successor has not been announced yet. Self will replace Maj. Gen. David S. Gray, commander of the 463rd Airlift Group from April 1997 until July 1998, who has been reassigned to the Pentagon. Gray will become director of global reach programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.

As the next commander of the Expeditionary Center, known as the Air Mobility Warfare Center until earlier this month when it was renamed, Self will continue to have a hand in the education and training of personnel.

The center is Air Mobility Command’s single focal point for the advanced education and training of mobility forces and expeditionary training. The center’s schools, directorates, detachments and operating locations work together to achieve one major goal – keeping mobility forces ready, at a moment’s notice, to deploy anywhere in the world.

The center also teaches thousands of airmen about landing in hostile areas, setting up bases almost overnight and making sure airmen are well supplied.

Gray returned to LRAFB in November to show off his center’s new technology – the joint precision-aerial delivery systems (JPADS) and improved container-delivery systems (ICDS). “We’re like a university,” Gray explained during his visit. “We teach 13,000 students a year. We offer a full-spectrum of courses, including a master’s degree.”

Students learn about air mobility, logistics and supply, and how to establish an air base from scratch. The expeditionary center teaches students “how to deploy and employ forces.” “We help a wing commander run his base anywhere in the world,” Gray said. Self is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, earning a bachelor of science in psychology and management. He has held a variety of flying assignments as a helicopter and C-141 instructor pilot.

Self is a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours in UH-1, T-38, C-17, C-130 and C-141B aircraft. His staff assignments include political-military planner on the Joint Staff, and country director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has commanded the 16th Airlift Squadron at Charleston AFB in South Carolina, and the 621st Air Mobility Operations Group at McGuire AFB.

Gen. Self served as special operations mission commander in support for Operation Joint Endeavor, and he deployed as director of mobility forces in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was commander of Expeditionary Air Forces in Southwest Asia. Prior to assuming command at Jacksonville in September of 2005, relieving Brig. Gen. Joseph M. Reheiser, Self was deputy director of operations at Headquarters AMC at Scott AFB in Illinois.

Reheiser left LRAFB to be vice-commander of the 5th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces at Yokota Air Base, Japan. He has also received a new assignment, commander of the Air Force Security Assistance Center, Air Force Materiel Command, at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio.