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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Allardice takes over 18th Air Force

Lt. Gen. Robert Allardice assummed command this week of 18th Air Force at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

It's the numbered air force in charge of day-to-day operations for Air Mobility Command.

He replaces Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott III, who retired in October.

Allardice was at Maxwell in April 2008 to speak to students at Air University about his experiences. He had recently returned from a one-year tour in Iraq as commander of the Coalition Air Force Transition Team.

While Allardice and his team were in Iraq, the Iraqi force nearly doubled in size from about 750 in January 2007 to about 1,400 this spring. And there are about 400 more people awaiting training for this year.

The team Allardice commanded in Baghdad falls under U.S. Central Command, which is the joint organization tasked with operations in the Middle East and some of the surrounding area. Allardice is now moving to MacDill Air Force Base in Florida to take over as Central Command's director for strategy, plans and policy.

Now, at 18th Air Force, he's responsible for about 51,000 active-duty airmen assigned to the command's only warfighting numbered air force.

Allardice has more than 4,700 hours in C-141, C-5 and C-17 transports and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He most recently served as director of strategy, plans and policy at U.S. Central Command headquarters, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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