HILL AIR FORCE BASE — The new commander of one of the state's largest military installations brings a wealth of leadership capability and a little inside knowledge from previous experience in the Beehive State.
Brig. Gen. McCauley von Hoffman took hold of a ceremonial flag Friday to become the new Ogden Air Logistics Complex commander at Hill Air Force Base during a change of command ceremony. From October 2015 to October 2017, she served at Hill Air Force Base as mobilization assistant to the person who held the same position she now holds — becoming the second woman to command the Ogden Air Logistics Complex.
Brig. Gen. Kathleen Close held the position from June 2007 to July 2009.
Joining von Hoffman on stage inside a massive aircraft maintenance hangar was Lt. Gen. Gene Kirkland, commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center, Air Force Material Command and outgoing Ogden Air Logistics commander Maj. Gen. Stacey Hawkins. Among the dignitaries in the audience for the ceremony were Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and President Russell M. Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with scores of airmen, family members and local civic leaders.
After officially taking the helm, the newly minted commander said she relishes the opportunity to continue the mission of maintaining peak military readiness for potential combat with any of the nation's enemies.
"I get to use a lot of the experiences that I've already gone through on different assignments. They all come together here at the logistics complex," she said. "Everything we do here touches a different part of the Air Force so pulling all of that together is a great spot for me to come in (to this position)."
As commander, von Hoffman will lead a team of approximately 8,100 personnel who perform depot repair, overhaul and modification of various military aircraft, including the A-10, C-130, F-16, F-22, F-35 and T-38.
Additionally, the command includes maintenance of intercontinental ballistic missile systems and a wide range of other equipment, including landing gear, wheels and brakes, rocket motors, air munitions and guided bombs, photonics equipment, training devices, software, electronics, avionics, instruments, hydraulics, power systems and other aerospace components, according to a news release.
Von Hoffman is a 30-year Air Force veteran and is coming to Hill from Ramstein Air Base in Germany where she served as director of logistics, engineering and force protection for U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa since January. In that capacity, she was responsible for leadership, management, and integration of aircraft and munitions maintenance, civil engineers, contingency contracting, security forces, transportation and material management, storage and distribution, the release states.
She succeeds Hawkins, who served as the Ogden Air Logistics Complex commander since August 2017. Hawkins will move on to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio to become director of logistics, civil engineering, force protection and nuclear integration for Air Force Material Command.
Von Hoffman said diversity is one of the keys to having a well-balanced, high-functioning installation.
"This complex, both military and civilians, has great leaders — both male and female. To be a part of the diversity of leadership is great," she said. "We strive for that here and this is just one more example."
In a tenuous time in numerous areas around the world, she said preparation will be the key to maintaining readiness for U.S. warfighters here in Utah.
"Being prepared is being able to bring the capacity, the tools, the air power that we need from (Hill Air Force Base)," von Hoffman explained. "So being ever vigilant and always trying to make what we produce here better, faster and cheaper for our government is definitely something that I think about."
She said working to accomplish the goal of ultimate preparation will put the complex in a position to meet its objectives whenever called upon.
"We've got strategic competitors and we've got violent extremist, non-state actors — a breadth of things — so we've got to be ready, we've got to be prepared," von Hoffman said.
"For all of us, the better that we could do it, the faster we could get it out and the cheaper — allowing us to buy more air power if we do it cheaper — that's what I want to get after right away."