Rupp assumes command of AFDW as Air Force vice chief presides

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Amaani Lyle
  • Air Force District of Washington
Military members and civilians gathered to watch leadership shift as Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson presided over the Air Force District of Washington change of command ceremony here July 9.

Maj. Gen. Ricky Rupp accepted the ceremonial guidon flag from Wilson, who received it from outgoing commander Maj. Gen. James A. Jacobson.

Wilson noted that Rupp’s robust experience, most recently as U.S. Transportation Command director of operations at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, will serve him well as he takes the reins.

“The global AFDW team demands a strong leader; leadership that knows how to support terrific [non-commissioned officers] or civilians, those serving at [military entrance processing stations] or other outposts far from the nearest Air Force base,” Wilson said.

Wilson characterized 30-year veteran Rupp as an Airman “proven to excel in dynamic situations,” citing the general’s two years as a prolific senior defense official and a defense attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Israel.

In 2013 following his tenure at 22nd Air Refueling Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, Rupp and his wife, Charlotte, earned the prestigious Jerome F. O’Malley award given each year to the wing commander and spouse whose community and Air Force contributions epitomize senior military leadership.

“Ultimately, success in the national capital arena depends on the ‘leadership through partnership ’approach,” Wilson explained. “From his combat tours in multiple theaters to his unparalleled success at all levels of command, Maj. Gen. Ricky Rupp is the right leader at the right time for this elite organization.”

But, Wilson asserted, Rupp won’t go it alone as he navigates the opportunities and challenges ahead at AFDW.

“The proud faces here that represent thousands of America’s best and brightest … will be there on your wing every step of the way,” Wilson said of the ceremony attendees. “Together, we know that you’ll build on the proud legacy to make the Air Force District of Washington even better.”

During his recent first staff meeting, Rupp described the change of command ceremony as a “very professional, honored and wonderful send-off for General Jacobson and his family,” adding that he’s excited about his new position and the opportunity to work with the talented, innovative, and highly-skilled Airmen and civilians at AFDW.

Rupp is a command pilot with more than 4,800 flying hours in various aircraft including the C-130, C-17, and T-38. He acquired operational flying experience during operations Desert Shield, Provide Promise, Allied Force, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

He has served as a squadron commander, vice wing commander, wing commander and at various staff assignments in the major command and sub-unified command levels within the Defense Department.