18th AF commander visits Fairchild AFB

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dustin Mullen

Leaders from 18th Air Force visited Team Fairchild and the 92nd Air Refueling Wing here, March 19-21.

Maj. Gen. Thad Bibb, 18th Air Force Commander, and Chief Master Sergeant Chad Bickley, 18th AF command chief, visited Fairchild to meet the Airmen who fly, maintain and support the world’s largest air refueling fleet.

“I am so proud of this team and all you have accomplished,” Bibb said. “When it comes to tankers, all I see here is excellence. It has been a busy year and every time we have had to call on Fairchild to support, you knock it out of the park.”

Over a three day period, Bibb and Bickley got a first-hand look at the operations and innovations the base carries out every day.

“Airmen innovation is in our blood,” Bibb said. “We are training and getting ready for a high-end fight and innovation will get us there. I have spent the last few days learning about all the ways you have been accelerating change.”

As the Air Force’s largest KC-135 Stratotanker wing, Fairchild serves as a major contributor to the nation’s air refueling capability, increasing the need to modernize and prepare for the future.

“Accelerate change or lose, I am a firm believer in this,” said Bickley. “We need to be ready for the high-end fight and Fairchild is doing just that. I will tell you now, I am truly impressed with this base and the progress you have made.”

As the commander of 18th AF, Bibb is responsible for Air Mobility Command’s sole numbered air force and ensures readiness and sustainment of approximately 36,000 active duty, Air Force Reserve and civilian Airmen at 12 wings and one stand-alone group.

“If you get nothing else from our visit, ‘thank you,’” Bibb said during an all-call. “This is a tough job, so thank you and your families for what you do every day here at Fairchild.”