Smith takes command of the Gateway Wing

  • Published
  • By 932nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Col. Jeffrey A. Smith assumed command of the Air Force Reserve Command’s 932nd AW during an assumption of command ceremony hosted by Brig. Gen. Melissa A. Coburn, 22nd Air Force commander, Dec. 1, 2023, at Scott Air Force Base. 

Smith, an active duty commander, comes to the Gateway Wing from Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, where he was the director of safety. While deployed, he also served as the director of intelligence, operations, and plans, for the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait.

Smith has served in various assignments, including as deputy command center director for the North American Aerospace Defense Command/U.S. Northern Command, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, and as the commander of the Air Operations Squadron, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base.

Coburn reflected upon Smith's character and leadership that was evident in previous military assignments. 

“Mumbles (Smith), you are a true servant leader, and you are definitely ready to propel the 932nd forward,” said Coburn. “I am confident in your leadership, and I know this wing will cont to exemplify its mission to provide unrivaled mission ready and citizen airmen, anytime and anywhere.”

"I am confident that you will use all of your tools and resources to make the mission possible, highlight the operational capabilities of the 932nd, and still simultaneously taking care of the airmen and championing your people,” she said. 

As 932nd AW commander, Smith leads over 1,100 mission-ready Citizen Airmen supporting national interests worldwide. His responsibilities include providing first-class, safe and reliable C-40C airlift for our nation’s senior political, military leaders and their staffs; enhancing global aeromedical evacuation and rapid maintenance response capability; delivering logistics readiness, supply, and personnel support; deploying tactical, deployed, expeditionary and AFRC medical care; and integrating Mercy Hospital System medical professionals with 932nd AW Citizen Airmen as part of the training affiliation agreement.

After receiving the guidon and taking command, Smith said "I absolutely desire for us to be mission ready, and that means this piece of metal over here, is a beautiful aircraft to me, but to be it’s a piece of metal. If I don’t have you guys properly trained,  if I’m not making sure that you guys are not developing into the best am you can be, if we are not properly resourced and not communicating that risk to our leadership, that’s on me. In order for this to happen, I need the maintainers turning their wrenches making sure it’s up to standards and is airworthy. I need to make sure that the runways and the facilities can support the things we need to do. I need to have defenders securing the flight line. I need to make sure my people are medically capable of going out the door. I need to make sure that crew can get on that airplane and do what we ask them to do." 

“The 932nd will not just meet the mission that we have today but we will be ready for the challenge tomorrow,” said Smith. “There is no easy road ahead. Our challenge of the future, our challenge right now, is real."

"I thank you in advance. I’m gonna ask a lot. I am. But I know that you all are more than capable. I have the utmost confidence.”