LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --
The 913th Airlift Group welcomed Col. Christopher K. Lacouture as its new commander during an assumption of command ceremony at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Sept. 12.
The ceremony was also live streamed on the 913th AG’s official Facebook page in order to maintain COVID-19 social distancing measures.
Presiding over the ceremony was the commander of 22nd Air Force, Maj. Gen. John P. Healy. The 913th AG was activated on July 13th, 2014 and reports directly to 22nd Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command.
“I ask a lot of each of my commanders. It is a challenging task to assume command as we continue to battle this pandemic, all while sustaining crucial operations,” he said. “Col. Lacouture has been doing great things since he took command and I have every confidence in his ability to lead the 913th.”
Lacouture has many years of command experience, most recently of which has been with the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, where the unit conducts both peacetime personnel recovery and combat search-and-rescue missions.
He has also seen worldwide duty in the Air Force Reserve Command, Air Force Education and Training Command, Indo-Pacific Command, Air Combat Command, and Africa Command.
“When I was first introduced to the Group, I was struck by how passionate the people I met were about their duties and their unit. There is something special about the 913th,” Lacouture said. “The men and women of the 913th care about getting the job done.”
The 913th AG is the only Air Force Reserve unit in the state of Arkansas whose overall mission is to provide combat-ready Airmen, tactical airlift and agile combat support. As the commander, Lacouture oversees six squadrons and group staff personnel that total nearly 400 people, 80 percent of which consist of part-time members balancing civilian and military careers.
“Together, we will continue to build this capable and ready unit. There are challenges ahead but I know the 913th is able to overcome them,” said Lacouture. “I am excited to be here and could not be prouder to be your Commander.”
He is also responsible for organizing, training and equipping Air Force Reserve C-130J aircrew and agile combat Support elements to deploy in support of worldwide combat airlift operations and other taskings by the national command authorities.
Healy stated, “My priority for 22nd Air Force is to be Ready Now, and I took to Col. Lacouture to ensure you have the training and preparation to be a ready force, prepared to deploy and serve at your nation’s call.”