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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | July 21, 2021

Jackson takes reins at Air Force District of Washington, marking a new era at vital command

By Master Sgt. Amaani Lyle Air Force District of Washington

Air Force District of Washington leadership transitioned during a change of command ceremony here officiated by Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin July 20.

Incoming commander Maj. Gen. Joel Jackson, formerly director of operations for the strategic deterrence and nuclear integration department at Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, accepted the ceremonial guidon flag from Allvin, who received it from outgoing commander Maj. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp.

“I know the Air Force District of Washington is going to be a smooth-running operation led by empowered Airmen who have a clear sense of vision, direction, and priority that General Rupp and [his wife] Charlotte have instilled in [them] across all echelons,” Jackson said. “The tasks are many, the visibility and importance are high, but the Airmen of Air Force District of Washington are up to the challenge and I’m proud to be given the flag today to represent each one of you as you strive with pride and teamwork to enable the Air Force to fly, fight, and win -- anytime, anywhere.”

The time-honored military tradition honoring both outbound and inbound leadership is AFDW’s ninth such event since its reactivation in 2005.

In gratitude to his Airmen, Rupp reflected on his two-year tenure which encompassed milestone achievements such as sustained operations amid a global pandemic, execution of the 2021 presidential inauguration, hosting the establishment of the U.S. Space Force, and reestablishment of the 11th Wing at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.

“Our team never rests, nor does the scope of our mission,” Rupp said. “The past two years have presented a number of challenges, but whatever the challenge, you came up with creative solutions to figure it out.”

Rupp described AFDW as “the biggest little command in the Air Force,” with customers from the White House to Airmen stationed around the globe. He noted “it’s each and every one of you in the wings, the group, and headquarters staff, doing your daily job well that make the difference for our Airmen, our mission partners, and our Department of the Air Force – you are exceptional.”

Allvin emphasized the importance of the outgoing leader’s legacy in paving the way for a new commander, who he said will mold the unit’s future and make their unique mark on AFDW’s vital mission.

The vice chief of staff described AFDW as “one of the most critical nodes of the civilian-military partnership.”

“Tens of thousands of people in our Air Force, Department of Defense, even the White House depend every day, every minute, on the Air Force District of Washington,” Allvin said. “This organization enables the power center of the world to execute this nation’s business.

Allvin expressed appreciation for and confidence in both leaders.

“Ricky hands off a legacy of excellence … a legacy of mission focus and a commitment to enabling every Airmen to reach his or her potential,” the general said. “Joel is the leader we need and I’m proud he’s the leader we’re going to have.”

Related biography: https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/2332728/major-general-joel-d-jackson/