Commentary | June 25, 2020

AFDW Commander: JBAB transfer to bring great opportunities

By Maj. Gen. Ricky Rupp, Air Force District of Washington commander

There are big changes at work for the Air Force District of Washington and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C. These changes mean incredible opportunities to enhance the Air Force’s service to the National Capital Region.

A little more than a year ago, the Secretaries of the Air Force and the Navy penned a memo solidifying their intent to transfer installation leadership at JBAB from Navy to Air Force responsibility. With the signing of a dual-service Memorandum of Agreement on June 24, 2020, the joint transfer team is now executing plans for this monumental task. 

I am incredibly impressed with the meticulous planning orchestrated by our AFDW transfer team members and their counterparts at the Naval District of Washington, Air Force Installation Mission Support Command, and other Air Force and Navy Headquarters commands. Through months of analysis and planning, this joint transfer team has methodically worked through a very complex challenge and has postured JBAB for a successful transfer. They’ve paid exceptional attention to detail to ensure uninterrupted support for the base community and nearly 70 mission partners.

Their work ensures JBAB will remain a valued strategic asset to the Department of Defense and a valued partner in the local community. I am extremely impressed with the groundwork they have laid to set the tone for success.

On June 11, our own Col. Michael Zuhlsdorf took command of Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, a role he will fill while the base remains under Navy control until Oct. 1, 2020. The following day, he assumed command of the 11th Wing on JBAB. Zuhlsdorf now wears two hats as both the installation commander and the 11th Wing commander, as he leads the wing in preparing to assume lead-service responsibility for the base.

With its activation at JBAB, the 11th Wing returns “home” where it first became a wing in 1994 and served as a direct-reporting unit to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force until 2005. The “new” 11th Wing will begin its work to build upon the Navy’s foundation of support for critical national security and strategic mission partners.

The 11th Wing at JBAB joins the recently re-designated 316th Wing at Joint Base Andrews as one of two subordinate wings to AFDW.

This series of changes will bring some unique challenges for our team, but also some incredible opportunities to leverage expertise and resources across the command to best meet the needs of our Airmen and joint partners in the NCR and around the globe.

Our AFDW team is excited to be a part of these significant transitions in our Air Force history. For all the effort not only for this service-lead transfer but also in the execution of missions around the globe in support of national interests, I am proud to be a part of all the great things to come for the Air Force District of Washington team.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kayla White, public affairs specialist assigned to the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Public Affairs office, poses for a portrait on April 7, 2022, at JBAB, Washington, D.C. White wrote a commentary about her experience with sexual assault during her initial training at Fort Meade, Md. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Anna Smith)
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