JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. —
For the members of Joint Base MDL and 87th Air Base Wing team, expect to see a new face as part of the wing’s command team.
U.S. Air Force Colonel Mona Alexander, 87th ABW vice commander, recently took on the newly created position to provide support and take on responsibility across the Department of Defense’s only tri-service installation.
“My family and I are excited to be here and to be a part of the 87th ABW team,” said Alexander. “As I learned I was going to make the transition to the wing vice, I was really excited because of the awesome team I knew I was joining.”
For some, Alexander may be a familiar face. Recently serving as the USAF Expeditionary Operations School (EOS) Commander, Alexander has also been a part of the 621st Contingency Response Group and the 2nd Air Refueling Squadron in the 305th Air Mobility Wing.
“Before becoming the vice, I was the commander of the AF EOS for the last two years,” said Alexander. “Prior to that, I was at the 621 CRG as the group deputy commander. In previous assignments, I also served in the 2nd ARS as a KC-10 Extender pilot. You can say I’ve been back and forth across the base a few times.”
Before moving into her new position, Alexander credits her time at the EOS for preparing her in her new role and the team she will be working with.
“I was definitely excited but a little intimidated when I found out I was moving over here, but COVID has given us the opportunity to work together as an installation so I worked closely with the 87th team,” said Alexander. “Col. [Bridget] Gigliotti, [87th ABW commander] has a lot of responsibility as the Joint Base Installation Commander and the 87th Air Base Wing commander and I’m here to support the Airmen in the wing and assist her wherever needed and I’m really excited about it.”
While being excited for her new role, Alexander found her calling when visiting the Air Force Academy after her junior year of High School.
“When I was young I went to space camp a few summers and that gave me a taste of flight,” Alexander said with a chuckle. “It opened my eyes and gave me a goal to start shooting for. I was also a gymnast growing up in Kansas and my high school coach asked me if I would speak with a recruiter for the Academy. I made a trip out to USAFA and fell in love with everything about the Academy and I was eager to become a part of the Air Force family.”
While attending the Academy, Alexander continued her gymnast career as a student-athlete before graduating in 1998. Now serving for over 22 years of active duty service, she hopes to give back to Airmen by making their day-to-day easier and smoother.
“I’ve had a lot of fun in my career flying planes, doing many things outside of my career field and working with great Airmen,” said Alexander. “Along the way, I’ve learned people always perform better when they are excited and happy, so if you’re not having fun, you’re going to wear out. My goal is to make things better for our Airmen, in whatever way possible, so they can perform to their maximum potential.”
Only being a month on the job, Alexander is eager to meet the rest of the 87th ABW team to better understand the mission of each unit.
“I’d like to say thank you for the immersions and the time the Airmen have taken to show me their mission,” said Alexander. “My goal is to make their professional lives better. I want to tell the Airmen to have fun, always strive to learn, improve and be a good wingman to your teammates and family, and, hopefully, have fun. It’s been an exciting first month and I’m looking forward to many more.”