New Commanders Tapped for Air Force Sustainment Center, 16th Air Force

A pair of Air Force generals are set to receive third stars and take over new commands. The Pentagon announced a new slate of nominations May 25.

President Joe Biden nominated Maj. Gen. Stacey T. Hawkins to become a lieutenant general and the new commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The Air Force Sustainment Center oversees most of the service’s maintenance and installation support enterprises and monitors supply chain activities. Weapons system sustainment accounts for tens of millions of dollars every year in the Air Force budget.

Hawkins currently serves as director of logistics, engineering, and force protection at Air Combat Command. With a background in maintenance operations, Hawkins previously served at Tinker in 2012 and 2013 as the deputy commander for maintenance at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, a unit within the Air Force Sustainment Center.

The Air Force Sustainment Center is currently led by Lt. Gen. Tom D. Miller, who has held the job since August 2021.

Also nominated for a third star May 25 was Maj. Gen. Kevin B. Kennedy, with an appointment as commander of the 16th Air Force at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

The 16th Air Force was activated in 2019, the result of an effort within Air Combat Command to merge its intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber, weather, and other units into one “information warfare” numbered Air Force. The digitally-focused NAF has taken the lead in areas such as cyber and spectrum warfare, areas of conflict in the so-called “gray zone” short of kinetic attacks.

Kennedy, if confirmed, would replace Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh, the NAF’s first commander. Kennedy currently serves as director of operations for U.S. Cyber Command and has previously worked in several positions under the Air Force’s chief information officer.

In addition to Hawkins and Kennedy, the Pentagon also announced two nominees for promotions. Brig. Gen. John J. Bartrum and Brig. Gen. Richard L. Kemble are to both receive second stars.

Barnum currently serves as the mobilization assistant to the surgeon general of the Air Force, while Kemble is the director of plans, programs, and requirements for Air Force Reserve Command.