By Arlo Taylor
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 19th Airlift Wing and Little Rock Air Force Base welcomed their new commander, Col. Charles Brown Jr., during a change of command ceremony May 27.
The ceremony’s presiding officer, Lt. Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, 18th Air Force commander, accepted the wing’s guidon from Col. Patrick Rhatigan and passed it to Brown, symbolizing the beginning of his command of the Black Knights.
“It is my honor to be back at Little Rock Air Force Base… the Home of Combat Airlift,” said Brown. “The leading edge of tactical airlift, Team Little Rock has been in the Joint fight, defending the Homeland and decisively taking the fight to the enemy on foreign soil for decades… providing it in a manner that cannot be duplicated by any other country, fellow service, or any other airlift wing in the United States Air Force.”
The 19th Airlift Wing works in concert with the 314th Airlift Wing, 189th Airlift Wing, the 913th Airlift Group and 29th Weapons Squadron in all aspects of C-130 operations and training. As commander, Brown will lead the world’s largest fleet of C-130 aircraft and is responsible for providing worldwide deployable C-130 aircraft, aircrews, expeditionary combat support personnel and equipment for Air Mobility Command and Air Expeditionary Force taskings.
The new commander’s priorities for the base can be distilled into three words: Trust, Teamwork and Training. As the 62nd Airlift Squadron commander here from 2009-2011, Brown knows the importance of those three ideals to the base’s tradition of teamwork.
“The secret to our success lies in the seamless integrated and interdependent relationships with our teammates in the 314th Airlift Wing, our Air National Guard partners in the 189th Airlift Wing, our Reserve partners in the 913th (Airlift Group) and, to round out us out, our teammates in the 29th Weapons School.
That tradition of teamwork extends beyond the base fence line where unrivaled community support buoys base Airmen and their families.
“None of this would be possible without the love, support and leadership that the Little Rock Air Force base surrounding communities have provided us for 60 years. This has been the true core of our excellence,” Brown said. “We will continue this legacy and excel in the future by continuing to foster a climate of trust and teamwork all the while continuing to train to provide our great nation the finest Combat Airlifters in the world.”
Finally, Brown thanked the Airmen of Team Little Rock and their families for their unwavering support that fuels the success of the base’s mission.
‘I’d like to say thank you to you and your families who have sacrificed so much for this great nation, this great Air Force and this great community,” the colonel said. “I owe all of you a tremendous amount of gratitude as I stand here in awe of all of your amazing accomplishments and will continue to provide you the resources to be effective in our mission, a safe work environment from which to conduct it and a quality of life for you and your family that you deserve.”
Brown’s previous assignment was as assistant deputy director, Joint Strategic Planning, Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. He advised the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on all Global Defense Posture emerging requirements, as well as Strategy Development and Joint Operational War Planning for the Department of Defense.
He is a senior pilot with more than 1,600 hours flying F-15E, C-130E and C-130H aircraft.