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Lt. Gen. Cox takes command of 18th Air Force at Scott Air Force Base

Meet new commander of 18th Air Force at Scott Air Force Base

Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox speaks after assuming command of the 18th Air Force on Monday during a ceremony at Scott Air Force Base. The 18th Air Force provides airlift, aerial refueling and aeromedical evacuation around the world.
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Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox speaks after assuming command of the 18th Air Force on Monday during a ceremony at Scott Air Force Base. The 18th Air Force provides airlift, aerial refueling and aeromedical evacuation around the world.

During a ceremony Monday at Scott Air Force Base Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox assumed command of the 18th Air Force.

The ceremonial passing of the guidon was in front a room filled with family members, airmen and other base personnel.

Admiral Cecil Haney, who is commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, was also in attendance to hand over command of Task Force 294 to Cox.

“We’re gaining an inspirational leader, who is calm, compassionate, and down to earth,” Haney said. “He’s a strategic thinker … a good listener, and an outstanding communicator.”

Cox, who previously served as the Air Force’s personnel chief and was based in Washington, D.C., replaced Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, who now leads the Air Mobility Command, also headquartered at Scott.

The 18th Air Force provides global mobility and helps sustain America’s military through airlift, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation and contingency response operations, according to the Air Force.

Task Force 294 oversees Air Force tanker operations in support of U.S. Strategic Command.

Clearly we’re in a relatively resource constraint environment going forward. Those are the kinds of things that make it very challenging to us to make long-term investments. Once we get to a point where we have a regular budget, that will help us move forward.

Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox, commander of the 18th Air Force

Cox said he wants to accomplish long-range planning in his new role.

“Let’s look a little further forward and make sure we’re ready as the (Boeing) KC-46 comes aboard, with unique capabilities of that airplane,” Cox said.

He acknowledged there are challenges ahead for the military as it operates at sequestration levels.

“Clearly we’re in a relatively resource-constraint environment going forward,” Cox said. “Those are the kinds of things that make it very challenging to us to make long-term investments. Once we get to a point where we have a regular budget, that will help us move forward.”

Cox had previous tours of duty at Scott.

▪ From July 2010 to July 2011, Cox served as commander of the 618th Air and Space Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center), at Scott Air Force Base.

▪ From August 2011 to June 2012, he served as director of strategy, policy, programs and logistics for the U.S. Transportation Command, based at Scott.

▪ From June 2012 to December 2013, he served as Transcom’s director of operations and plans.

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter

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