Former commander offers Airmen wisdom, encourages excellence

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Adam R. Shanks
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


The 6th Air Mobility Wing welcomed a previous wing commander to base Feb. 2-3, 2017. The now brigadier general visited the 6th AMW on behalf of the 18th Air Force Commander and served as guest speaker for the wing’s annual awards ceremony. He met with many Airmen and offered professional mentoring and saw how the wing’s operations have changed since leaving the Sunshine State.

Brig. Gen. Lenny Richoux commanded the 6th AMW from 2010 to 2012 and now serves as the 18th Air Force vice commander at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

In his current role, he oversees Air Mobility Command’s operational arm which leads missions around the globe. Those missions include the 6th AMW’s KC-135 Stratotankers and refueling operations in or near Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan,  

“Eighteenth Air Force is responsible for more than ten wings, including MacDill, and conducts approximately 600 mission a day, on average, with 39,000 activated Airmen,” Richoux said. “The 6th AMW is a big part of that. Right now, Airmen from MacDill are directly involved in supporting combat operations, day and night, 24/7. It’s a very busy organization, and we appreciate everyone in the wing and the work they do to make all of that possible.”

From discussing opportunities with junior enlisted Airmen, to feedback from squadron commanders, Richoux met with all ranks, grades and levels of leaders to observe MacDill’s current operations. At each stop, he encouraged Airmen continue to strive for excellence in their piece of the mission.

“I believe ability plus desire equals success,” explained Richoux. “Our Airmen possess both, and our air refueling mission gives us the ability to be flexible and responsive to what the president and the secretary of the Air Force need us to do.”

The drive to encourage excellence continued as Richoux capped off the visit speaking at the wing’s annual-awards ceremony. His words brought cheers to the audience as he showed photos of squadrons and staff agencies across the base. Those pictures were followed with Richoux describing how each of those units makes the 6th AMW mission, and by extension, the 18th AF mission possible each day.

“Talent comes from many backgrounds and takes many forms,” Richoux said. “As an Air Force, we need the most talent America has to offer, and we have an amazingly talented force. We capitalize on diversity to make sure that we have difference of thought. Good ideas are not born out of a single person; it takes a team of different and innovative ideas to bring those together, and you can only get differing opinions if you have a diverse organization.”