Changing of the Guard: Igl Takes Command of 61st Air Base Group

  • Published
  • By James Spellman, Jr.
  • SMC Public Affairs

A standing room only crowd in the Gordon Conference Center witnessed a change of command ceremony July 11 as Col. Charles P. Roberts relinquished leadership of the 61st Air Base Group to Col. Ann M. Igl.

The ceremonial passing of the 61st ABG’s guidon was presided over by Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program executive officer for Space.

After two years at the helm of the 61st ABG at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, Roberts leaves to assume the role of deputy commander of Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Before receiving a final salute from a formation of 61st ABG enlisted members and officers during the ceremony, Roberts took a moment in his parting remarks to comment on the professionalism displayed by the personnel under his leadership.

“For those in the formation today, you guys really do look awesome! You look super sharp, as you do every day in doing the mission out there,” said Roberts. “It is just a very small, minor part of what you guys do for the mission … It is tremendous, the work that you do – and you do it selflessly. And I just applaud you for that, and thank you for all the support you’ve given to me and my family while we’ve been here.”

Thompson noted all the important roles of the host unit responsible for the day-to-day operation of SMC at the only military installation in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.

“Every day, over 3,000 people come through the gate to come to work here. They spend about $6 billion dollars of the taxpayer’s money. They spend that money on satellites, launch vehicles, and ground control segments for the United States Air Forces’ – really, the United States of America’s satellite capabilities, and space capabilities on orbit,” said Thompson. “None of that is possible from those people coming through the gate every day, unless the support team of the 61st Air Base Group does their job. Whether they’re defenders, civil engineering troops, comm troops, personnel troops, it does not matter what the functional part of their job is. Without them, we are nothing. We cannot get work done. So the position of the commander of the 61st Air Base Group is a pretty important job.”

As the newest commander of the 61st ABG, Col. Igl is responsible for leading five squadrons and six staff agencies, totaling over 850 personnel with $1.3 billion in physical plant assets and manages the annual execution of a $60 million budget. The 61st ABG provides medical, civil engineering, communications, chaplain, security, logistics, personnel, readiness, and quality-of-life services to SMC and many other Department of Defense units in the Los Angeles basin.

In her previous assignment, Igl served as Senior Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. She advised on full-spectrum Total Force organization, human capital strategy and development, and policy formation.

A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Igl received her commission in 1996 and has held assignments at base-level, major command and combatant command levels, and the Air Staff. Most recently as the Air Force Element Section Commander, she exercised command authority to over 900 Air Force personnel assigned to units in 16 Continental United States and Overseas Continental United States location on behalf of the Air Force Element Commander. Her division also formulated and implemented Combatant Command policy for Army, Navy, and Air Force evaluations, promotions, awards, decorations, formal training, and joint professional military education. Additionally, she deployed to Ahmed al-Jaber Air Base in Kuwait, and the Joint Task Force Guantanamo in Cuba.  

She is married to Col. Chadwick Igl, currently the Senior Military Advisor to the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House, and has two daughters, Clarissa and Noelle.

“I would like to thank the civilians, military, and contractors that I will have the opportunity to lead and work with here in the 61st Air Base Group. Your accomplishments are great, and your mission is so important to the Air Force, and to our nation,” said Igl. “My family and I look forward to spending time with you, and meeting with you and your families, and learning about the ways that you ensure LA Air Force Base tackles the challenges of securing the Space Enterprise, defending space capabilities, and serving as the armor that protects space for our nation. I have no doubt the 61 will be ‘Second to None’!”