Wing's new vice takes on fresh challenges as deployment nears

  • Published
  • By Gene H. Hughes
  • 908th AW Public Affairs
Colonel Jimmie "Pat" Brooks, the new vice commander of the 908th Airlift Wing, has a big job ahead of him, but coming from a place where everything's bigger, he's ready for it.

The Texas native, having recently arrived from Lackland AFB, where he commanded the 356th Airlift Squadron, which is the C-5 Formal Training Unit for Air Force active-duty, Reserve and Air National Guard students.

"I'm not a micro-manager, and believe that I create an environment where our members lead and make decisions with authority," he said. "I treasure the opportunity to work for the men and women of the 908th, in an effort to lead them and enable them in their mission. My goal is to provide support to Col. Adam Willis, and in his absence, lead the wing."

With the wing commander's departure, Brooks has already taken on that responsibility, preparing to deploy a significant number of the unit's members overseas in support of U.S. Central Command operations.

"I believe I'm a proactive leader, who looks to the future," he said. "My goals are to leave the 908th in a better place than I found it. Based on what I've seen so far, this will be a huge task because the 908th is a top-notch group of professional individuals who are regarded as 'the best in the business' at what they do."

Brooks graduated from Baylor University with a degree in business administration in 1987. Wanting to be a flier, he was commissioned in 1989, and eventually became a C-5 pilot with the 68th Airlift Squadron at Lackland.

He says his favorite deployment was a tour as Multimodal Mission Commander in Rota, Spain, moving Army forces and helicopters into the Afghan theater.
"I enjoyed it the most because I was making a noticeable difference in our fighting efforts in Afghanistan," he said.

A self-proclaimed "100-percent Reservist," Brooks understands the challenges of balance. In his civilian status, he's an airline pilot, flying  international routes to Europe and South America.

"While my true passion resides in my military service, I often have to ensure I'm satisfying the requirements and obligations of my civilian employer," he said. "It's easy to get lost in my passion for military service and not consider the impact my absence from home has on my incredible wife. I constantly remind myself that she is my solid foundation, and without her, my military career wouldn't be where it is today!"