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News > '88 grad takes command of air base wing
10ABW change of command
Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, Air Force Academy superintendent, passes the 10th Air Base Wing guidon and command of the wing to Col. Thomas Gibson during the wing's change of command ceremony June 27. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Bill Evans)
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'88 grad takes command of air base wing

Posted 7/1/2011   Updated 7/1/2011 Email story   Print story


by Gino Mattorano
U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

7/1/2011 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, CO. -- A 1988 graduate of the Air Force Academy took command of the Academy's 10th Air Base Wing in a ceremony June 27 at the wing headquarters.

Col. Thomas Gibson succeeds Col. Rick LoCastro, who will serve as the director of personnel and manpower for U.S. Strategic Command at Offut Air Force Base, Neb.

Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, the Air Force Academy superintendent, welcomed Colonel Gibson to the Academy.

"My charge to you is simple," General Gould said. "Keep the momentum going forward, take care of these marvelous people in the 10th Air Base Wing, and they will get the job done for you. And always remember: there's only one U.S. Air Force Academy, and it's up to all of us to accomplish the mission of developing leaders of character for the world's most powerful and feared Air Force. I'm confident you're up to the task, and we welcome you and your family to Team USAFA."

Colonel Gibson comes to the Academy from Vance Air Force Base, Okla., where he was the 71st Mission Support Group commander.

Colonel Gibson is a command pilot with more than 2,600 flight hours in the T-37 Tweet, T-38 Talon, C-5 Galaxy and KC-135 Stratotanker. He has flown in support of humanitarian and combat operations including Operations Restore Hope, Restore Democracy, Allied Force, Northern and Southern Watch.

"Having the opportunity to command a wing in the world's most successful Air Force, and having that wing be associated with America's premier service academy, and having both of those in a location as fabulous as Colorado Springs - it's difficult to imagine anything better," Colonel Gibson said.

"General Gould, thank you for hiring me and giving Nancy and I the opportunity to serve the men and women of the 10th Air Base Wing in this role," he continued. "We're excited and humbled about what lies ahead, and we'll give you our very best as we move forward."

Colonel Gibson is no stranger to the Air Force Academy or the Colorado Springs community. He graduated from the Academy in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in English and returned to the Academy from 1995-1998 to serve as a TG-7A glider instructor pilot and aide-de-camp to the superintendent, then Lt. Gen. Tad Oldstrom.
During Colonel Gibson's time as aide-de-camp, Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Sheila Widnall visited the Academy, along with her military assistant -- then-Col. Mike Gould -- and her aide-de-camp, then-Maj. Dana Born, who is now a brigadier general and the Academy's dean of the faculty.

Colonel Gibson expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to again serve with Generals Gould and Born and his enthusiasm for his new job to the men and women of the 10th Air Base Wing.

"You've heard how excited I am to be here, to join this team and to move this mission forward," he said. "We have an amazing responsibility to the Academy mission elements, to our combatant commanders around the world, and very importantly, to each other as wingmen. What I can tell you, without fear of contradiction, is that meeting those responsibilities is a team sport. I'm counting on each of you to play your position well, to execute when called upon, and to bring others with you as we develop as Airmen."

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