By Staff Sgt. Stuart Bright
11th Wing Public Affairs
After more than 17 months of planning, a historical moment took place on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling on Oct. 1, 2020.
Marked by a special ceremony, the Air Force officially took responsibility of JBAB, which was led by the Navy for the past 10 years. This is the first time in Department of Defense history that a joint installation switched direct responsibility from one branch of service to another.
“This is a significant event in the history of joint basing, and I’m proud of the entire team,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Ricky Rupp, Air Force District of Washington commander. “We’re honored to be a part of this milestone and grateful to be a part of the rich history of the 11th Wing.”
While the Air Force now has responsibility over the installation, Air Force Col. Mike Zuhlsdorf, 11th Wing commander, took command of JBAB from Navy Capt. Jose Rodriguez, DoD Office of Inspector General military assistant, on June 11, 2020. Although Zuhlsdorf has been in command, the Navy retained jurisdiction over JBAB until now.
“It is truly humbling to be a part of this JBAB history and lead these world-class Airmen and Sailors through this lead service transition,” said Zuhlsdorf, who was previously the vice commander of the installation. “Every day our JBAB family strives to improve the installations readiness, build lasting partnerships, and continue to leave a unique imprint on the heritage of this critical base within the National Capital Region.”
The 11th Wing returned to the origins of its heritage as the unit lineage ties back to Col. Raynal C. Bolling. Bolling, after whom the base is named, was the founder and commander of the First Aero Company in 1915. The 11th Wing previously resided on Bolling Air Force Base as the host wing and a direct reporting unit to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force from 1994 until the creation of Air Force District of Washington in 2005. It is during this time as a direct reporting unit that the 11th Wing adopted the moniker of “The Chief’s Own.”
The 11th Wing was formerly the host-wing designator at Joint Base Andrews but was inactivated June 11th in preparation for the returning of The Chief’s Own to JBAB.
The 11th Wing at JBAB is now responsible for supporting more than 17,000 military and civilian employees and their families throughout the National Capital Region. The Wing’s primary mission includes executing ceremonial honors via the United States Air Force Band, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard, and Arlington Chaplaincy, as well as support to the approximately 70 mission partners on the nearly 1,000-acre installation.
Key mission partners on the installation include the Defense Intelligence Agency, Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the White House Communications Agency, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, United States Coast Guard Station Washington, and the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard.