Mangum assumes command of USAACE
August 16, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 16, 2012) -- As rain fell on the Soldiers standing in formation, cannons fired and the reviewing party trooped the line, Fort Rucker welcomed a new commanding general to the installation.
Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, assumed command from Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield during a change of command ceremony at Howze Field Aug. 10.
"Kevin and [his wife] Angel, come [to Fort Rucker] with a great reputation and great credentials," said Lt. Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kan. "He comes with a great background in leadership of taking care of Soldiers and Families, and is able to command the team that is here at Fort Rucker as well as all the pieces that come with it in the community and throughout the United States Army."
Mangum began his leadership career after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 1982, and is an experienced Aviator having served tours in Korea with the 128th Aviation Company Assault Helicopter and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
He comes to Fort Rucker from his previous position as the commander of the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command in Fort Bragg, N.C., and has held positions ranging from commander of A Company, 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, at Camp Stanley, Korea, to serving as the senior commander of Fort Drum, N.Y., and division rear commander of the 10th Mountain Division, which was his first post as a general officer.
"I've known [Mangum] for a long time and I can't think of anybody better or that I feel more comfortable with taking the controls," said Crutchfield.
Crutchfield will go on to serve as the chief of staff of U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii.
Perkins said that he had full confidence in Crutchfield when he took command of USAACE and the installation, and has the same level of confidence in Mangum.
"Just as I, and the rest of the Army, did not think twice about the ability for Tony and Kim to make sure [that responsibility] was put in the right place, we are not thinking twice as you and Angel come in here and take on this awesome responsibility," he said.
Perkins spoke about the role of Army Aviation and the importance it has on the military, and said that its main purpose is to mitigate and manage risk.
"As we continue to do more with less [in the Army] … we're constantly having to take the assets that we have and [position] them," he said. "The battle space that we control remains the same if not increased in size as we realign boundaries, and in many cases, the situation got more dangerous.
"I spend more of my time managing risk -- that's what senior leaders in the Army do," he continued. "As a division commander in combat, when my inbox continually had more and more risk thrown into it, the first point that we would turn to was our Aviation asset."
Perkins said that Fort Rucker trains Army Aviators to take on the risk that many would be unwilling to do.
"We put that risk in Fort Rucker, in the Soldiers on the airfield and the tens of thousands of Soldiers that have gone through here," he said. "As we are in the role of mitigating risk … we're taking that risk out of my inbox and putting it in [Mangum's] so that you can train these young Aviators."
Mangum kept his comments brief because of the weather before he joined his Soldiers on the field to endure the rain with them during the pass in review.
"Thanks to the Soldiers on the field and the indispensible capability that you represent," he said. "You are the Branch's future and those who will shape that future. Soldiering is an outdoor sport and I'm going to join you on the field."