Former basketball star takes command of Yokota’s 374th Airlift Wing
By LEON COOK | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 20, 2018
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Air Force’s largest transport hub in the Far East has a new leader.
Col. Otis Jones took command of Yokota Air Base and the 3,500-strong 374th Airlift Wing from Col. Kenneth “Bull” Moss during a hangar ceremony on Friday morning.
Jones, the wing’s 44th commander, comes to his first assignment in Japan from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., where he led the 19th Operations Group. He has more than 3,000 flying hours in T-37, T-44, C-130, and C-17 aircraft, according to his official biography. He is also the second-highest scorer in Air Force Academy basketball history, with 2,003 career points, and was a finalist for the 1995 Naismith College Player of the Year award.
“I’m going to give you everything I’ve got,” Jones told a formation of airmen sweltering in the hangar on a hot summer’s day. “I pledge my very best in supporting you and leading from the front.”
Moss is headed to Scott Air Force Base, Ill., to serve as the deputy director of operations at Air Mobility Command.
During his two years in Japan, he oversaw the modernization of Yokota’s tactical airlift capabilities as the wing’s aging C-130H cargo planes were replaced with more advanced C-130Js.
Moss also presided over the recent arrival of the first Special Operations CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to be based at Yokota.
He was tested just two months into his command when Typhoon Mindulle struck Yokota in August 2016, leaving hundreds without power and water. Some base residents were moved to contingency housing while essential services were restored. The crisis led to improvements in the base’s typhoon precautions and emergency communication protocols.
Moss also facilitated official visits by President Trump and Vice President Pence.
“Bull, you’ve done a phenomenal job leading these warriors during a very dynamic time in our history,” said Brig. Gen. Todd Dozier, 5th Air Force vice commander, who officiated the ceremony. “You should be proud of the accomplishments the wing has seen during your tenure.”