Friday, January 27, 2012

TOP STORY >> Change of command is slated for 19th AW

Leader executive editor

Col. Brian (Smokey) Robinson will assume command of the 19th Airlift Wing from Col. Mike Minihan at Little Rock Air Force Base at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Robinson is executive officer to Gen. Raymond Johns Jr., commander of Air Mobility Command at Scott AFB, Ill.

Minihan, who has been commander here since Aug. 2010, will assume command of the 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Md., whose responsibilities include Air Force One and other planes assigned to top officials.

In an open letter to the air base community, Minihan wrote in Friday’s Combat Air-lifter newspaper, “It has been an honor to watch you in action. You make magic happen both at home and abroad.

“You dominate our nation’s enemies in combat. You train daily to a standard worthy of the title ‘C-130 Center of Excellence.’ You execute a state mission to a level that leaves 49 other states extremely envious. And you provide meaningful support to our most important assets…airmen and families.

“On April 25, 2011, I watched you fight for each other on ‘Miracle Monday.’ I’ve seen some powerful things in my life…but never to the level of what I witnessed after the tornado struck.

“You perform under pressure. Your combat, crisis and inspection record proves it.

“You define resiliency. You define community.”

Minihan’s new assignment will include worldwide special airlift missions, logistics and communications support for the president, vice president, cabinet members, combat commanders and other senior military and elected leaders.

Robinson was previously assigned to the Pentagon and was vice commander at the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston, S.C., air base.

Robinson graduated from Philadelphia University in 1987 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in computer science and received his commission from Air Force Officer Training School in December 1987 at Lackland AFB, Texas.

His career as a pilot began in 1989 after earning his Air Force pilot wings at Vance AFB, Okla., followed by a position as a T-38B instructor pilot.

At LRAFB, Minihan leads the world’s largest fleet of C-130 aircraft and is responsible for providing worldwide deployable C-130 aircraft, aircrews, support personnel and equipment for Air Mobility Command and Air Expeditionary Force missions.

He ensures support for combat, contingency and humanitarian requirements with 12,000 personnel and families at LRAFB.

Minihan entered the Air Force in June 1989 after receiving his commission through the ROTC program at Auburn University.

He completed undergraduate pilot training in 1991 and served as an aircraft commander, instructor pilot and evaluator pilot in the C-130 Hercules.

Minihan commanded an airlift squadron and four deployed expeditionary airlift squadrons.

Before he took over the 19th Airlift Wing, Minihan served as vice commander, 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, Calif.

Minihan is a command pilot with more than 3,200 flying hours in the C-130 and KC-10.