94th Airlift Wing bids farewell to vice commander

Col. James Kellogg, Jr., 94th Airlift Wing vice commander, stands during his retirement ceremony at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga, June 2, 2018. The newly retired vice commander gave a brief speech at the end of his ceremony, marking the end of a 30-year career with the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miles Wilson)

Col. James Kellogg, Jr., 94th Airlift Wing vice commander, stands during his retirement ceremony at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga, June 2, 2018. The newly retired vice commander gave a brief speech at the end of his ceremony, marking the end of a 30-year career with the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miles Wilson)

Col. James Kellogg, Jr., 94th Airlift Wing vice commander, answers questions during an interview prior to his retirement ceremony at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga, June 2, 2018. The vice commander retired from the Air Force after 22 years in the reserve and 8 years in active duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miles Wilson)

Col. James Kellogg, Jr., 94th Airlift Wing vice commander, answers questions during an interview prior to his retirement ceremony at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga, June 2, 2018. The vice commander retired from the Air Force after 22 years in the reserve and 8 years in active duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miles Wilson)

The certificate of retirement for James Kellogg, Jr., 94th Airlift Wing vice commander, sits on a presentation table flanked by flowers and a gift at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga, June 2, 2018. The certificate was presented to the newly retired vice commander during his retirement ceremony, marking the end of a 30-year career in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miles Wilson)

The certificate of retirement for James Kellogg, Jr., 94th Airlift Wing vice commander, sits on a presentation table flanked by flowers and a gift at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga, June 2, 2018. The certificate was presented to the newly retired vice commander during his retirement ceremony, marking the end of a 30-year career in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miles Wilson)

Maj. Gen. John Howlett, United States Air Force, retired, and Col. James Kellogg, Jr., 94th Airlift Wing vice commander, hold Kellogg’s certificate of retirement at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga, June 2, 2018. Howlett attended Kellogg’s retirement ceremony as the presiding official, and talked about his time with Kellogg. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miles Wilson)

Maj. Gen. John Howlett, United States Air Force, retired, and Col. James Kellogg, Jr., 94th Airlift Wing vice commander, hold Kellogg’s certificate of retirement at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga, June 2, 2018. Howlett attended Kellogg’s retirement ceremony as the presiding official, and talked about his time with Kellogg. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miles Wilson)

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. --

The 94th Airlift Wing bid farewell to Col. James W. Kellogg, Jr., 94th AW vice commander, as he retired from the Air Force Reserve on June 2, 2018, after a 30-year Air Force career.

Kellog served eight years on active duty and 22 years in the Air Force Reserve. As a command pilot, he conducted strategic airlift, tactical airlift and special operations in C-130, MC-130H and C-5 aircraft, as well as serving in various command positions.

During his time at the 94th AW, the vice commander served as commander for six months, and oversaw the deployment of more than 25% of the wing’s Airmen, four aircraft and the completion of 594 operational missions.

Before his ceremony, Kellogg reflected on his career as he approached the milestone of retirement.

“The opportunity to go back and retire at the wing instead of retiring at the Pentagon was truly a gift,” Kellogg said. “To come back and work with the Airmen and be at the wing level and unit level, where the mission is, that is rewarding in and of itself.”

While serving as the acting commander of the 94th AW, Kellogg directed relief operations for Hurricanes Irma and Maria, both devastating Category 5 hurricanes. During this time, the wing worked closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on various Caribbean recovery efforts and served as an aerial port of embarkation and debarkation.

“My proudest moment was the effort that everyone put forward during the hurricane relief,” explained Kellogg. “We had people working 18 hour days, nobody was complaining, everyone was moving forward. They knew it mattered, they knew we had a mission, they knew that people were in distress, and people stepped up.”

During his ceremony, Kellogg spoke about his father and grandfather, who both served as an Air Force officer, and talked about the impact that his dad had on his career. He also spoke about several key lessons and mentors he had throughout his career, and offered parting words to the wing: “Keep doing what you are doing, mentor your young airmen, and get out of your comfort zone, and grow,” he said. “If you are comfortable, then you’re stagnant. Get out of your comfort zone. It’s been amazing serving with you.”