SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. —
Today Team Scott welcomed the newest 375th Air Mobility Wing and Installation commander, Col. John Poole, after Col. Chris Robinson relinquished command.
The Robinsons are headed to Washington, D.C., where he will oversee executing the Air Force’s budget. Poole and his wife, Shellye, and children Britton, Everlye and Griffin, arrived here from Dyess AFB, Texas, where he served as the 317th Operations Group commander.
While at Dyess, Poole commanded 400 personnel and 28 C-130J aircraft engaged in combat airlift operations worldwide. He is a command pilot with over 2,700 flying hours in the C-130 and C-21A, with more than 1,100 combat hours and 22 combat missions spanning eight deployments to include Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, and Inherent Resolve. He earned his commission from the ROTC program at Texas A&M and currently holds a PhD in Military Strategy. He has served in staff positions at the Joint Staff, Air Staff, Combatant Command, Major Command and Numbered Air Force.
This is a return home for Poole, having lived and served here twice before. After giving thanks to friends, family and leaders who have helped shape his path to this season, he addressed the Airmen of the wing.
“It’s exciting to be back in a home where our oldest started kindergarten and is now going to finish high school and where our youngest took his first steps over in the house in Shiloh West. I’m looking forward to getting to know you and all the organizations … Thank you for what you do every single day.”
Poole said he watched from afar as the wing transformed into a culture of combat ready warriors who deliver victory on the world’s stage … preparing and innovating to fight and win in future conflicts.
“I’m grateful to serve alongside you, I’m honored to work for you and your families, and I hope to prove myself showcase worthy as I lead. Let’s go!”
The ceremony, officiated by Maj. Gen. Corey Martin, 18th Air Force commander, highlighted Robinson’s two years of excellence for which he was awarded the Legion of Merit.
The award highlighted the wing’s readiness transformation as the “team flawlessly executed numerous combat sustainment roles and mobility taskings, including high-profile missions such as the Speaker of the House visit to Taiwan, Operation Fly Formula, Operation Allies Refuge, Operation Allies Welcome, and crucial support for the Ukraine war effort. These deployments spanned six geographic combatant commands, totaling an impressive 1,061 taskings.”
Additionally, he was commended for several innovative projects that revolutionized airfield automation and installation security, as well as hosting the base’s first airshow in five years to a crowd of 70,000 that specially supported the Air Force’s recruiting efforts.
The Robinsons were also recognized as the AMC recipients of the General & Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award, named in honor of the late former commander of Tactical Air Command and his wife. This award is given annually to the wing commander and spouse team whose contributions to the
nation, the Air Force, and the local community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple in a key Air Force position.
Robinson, who is known for his “quotes of antiquity” ended his remarks with Pericles who said, “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments but what is woven into the lives of others. Thank you for weaving part of yourselves and this wonderful community into the tapestry that is the Robinson family.”
The 375th AMW and Installation commander leads more than 3,100 personnel who provide aeromedical evacuation, operational support airlift for high priority passengers, and ensures the nation’s global reach through air refueling. The 375th AMW also provides showcase support to 36 mission partners including United States Transportation Command, Air Mobility Command, and the 18th Air Force, totaling more than 13,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve, Department of Defense civilians, and contract personnel.