NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. – The Joint Enabling Capabilities Command welcomed a new commander July 11, 2017. Air Force Brig. Gen. Sam Barrett relinquished command to Air Force Brig. Gen. Lenny Richoux at a ceremony officiated by Air Force Gen. Darren McDew, commander, U.S. Transportation Command.
“This is a milestone day for all of us as we pay tribute to these two great leaders,” McDew told the audience. “I’ve had the honor of knowing and working with Lenny for the past two decades. A 27-year career Airman with extensive leadership, mobility, public affairs and plans experience, General Richoux is the consummate joint officer.”
McDew continued, “With his energetic enthusiasm and ‘people-first’ philosophy, I know Lenny’s the right leader to take our JECC to the next level of success in providing unmatched planning, communications and public affairs expertise to our joint force commanders around the clock and around the globe.”
The JECC provides the Department of Defense with a rapid activation alert force composed of Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps service members stationed in Norfolk and MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. Approximately half of the JECC’s 1500 troops are reserve members from nearly all 50 states, including more than 300 from the Florida and Georgia Air National Guard. JECC Reserve troops serve on the alert force, alongside their active component counterparts.
“I want to thank Sam Barrett for handing me a command that is not only ready but plugged into every [combatant command] and emerging operation around the world,” said Richoux, the unit’s sixth commander since standing up in October 2008. “This is a skilled, intelligent, focused, hardworking command whose mission is to solve problems.”
“We are the fix-it people of our nation’s defense machine. We are a total force joint organization that delivers joint planning, public affairs and communications capabilities.” Richoux continued, “The JECC provided more than 40,000 man-days of support that touched every combatant command last year. We do the cool stuff, and we do it really well. And that’s all that matters.”
McDew said Barrett “advanced JECC’s rapport, fostering lasting and trust-based relationships. As a result of those efforts, the JECC’s full range of capabilities have been incorporated in every COCOM around the globe.”
Under Barrett’s watch, JECC members supported every geographic combatant command and the U.S. Special Operations Command on nearly 60 operational deployments. As part of his strategy to sharpen readiness and increase proficiency across the military, he provided more than 40 “mission-tailored teams” to develop and review key operational planning documents for the State Department, Joint Staff, 14 service component headquarters and NATO.
“This organization is special,” Barrett said. “We’re one force, one team, four military branches – all aimed at a common cause of delivering national objectives for this command, the Department of Defense and most importantly, America’s citizens.”
Prior to taking command in Norfolk, Richoux served as the 18th Air Force vice commander at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Richoux, a New Orleans native and son of a Marine who fought in the Korean War, was commissioned in 1989 through the ROTC program at Georgia Tech. He’s a command pilot who primarily flew the C-17 and KC-135 aircraft. The general has commanded at the wing and squadron levels and also deployed in support of multiple combat operations, including Kosovo, Central and Southwest Asia.
Barrett is headed to Scott to become director of operations, strategic deterrence and nuclear integration at the Air Mobility Command headquarters. Barrett praised Richoux, saying, “Lenny is a great man, personable and very smart. To be able to hand it off to someone you have so much respect for is really special.”
For more information about the JECC, visit www.jecc.mil.