Biden appoints new Air Mobility Command boss
President Joe Biden has appointed the Army’s No.2 Pacific Officer to head the Air Force’s tanker and transport branch, the service confirmed on Thursday.
If approved by the Senate, Lt. Gen. Mike Minihan, Deputy Commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, would be promoted to four-star general and replace current Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Jacqueline. Van Ovost.
Minihan has spent much of the past 15 years in several operational positions in the Airlift and INDOPACOM communities, including as Chief of Staff and Deputy Director of Command Operations, as well as roles in the US forces in Korea and the Pacific Air Force. He commanded the 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Which includes Air Force One and the VIP transport aircraft fleet, and the 19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, which supports the larger fleet of C-130 Hercules in the world.
The three-star pilot has accumulated more than 3,400 hours in mobility cells such as the C-130 transport aircraft, the KC-10 refueller and the C-32 executive travel aircraft. AMC manages approximately 1,100 aircraft and 107,000 military and civilian employees in total.
Minihan’s experience in Asia and the South Pacific will shape AMC’s approach as this region emerges as the military’s new top priority, dominated by concerns of competition and conflict with China.
He would also resume command as he welcomes the KC-46 Pegasus tanker in trouble, the eyes retreat for his old cells and considers the threats large, slow planes may face in the future. AMC is also poised to play an important role in the Air Force’s new plan for distributed communications, with oil tankers as makeshift data centers on the battlefield.
The command recently stepped up support in the Middle East to help withdraw US troops and materiel from Afghanistan. Army-owned C-17 and C-5 cargo planes and commercial transport companies are contributing to this effort, and KC-10 and KC-135 tankers are available to refuel planes in the region as required. needs.
Van Ovost – currently the only female four-star officer in the military – is herself awaiting confirmation from the Senate to lead the US Transportation Command. She has been leading the AMC since August 2020.
The New York Times reported in february that Pentagon executives had delayed their recommendation to appoint Van Ovost as head of TRANSCOM until after the 2020 presidential election, believing Biden would be more receptive to a female combatant command chief than former President Donald Trump.
His nomination went to the Senate in March; she should take over at TRANSCOM in the coming months.
Rachel Cohen joined the Air Force Times as a senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has been featured in Air Force Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), The Washington Post and others. .