GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Col. Ricky Mills, former commander of the 17th Training Wing, has been confirmed by the senate for promotion to the rank of brigadier general on May 13.
Mills served as the 49th commander of Goodfellow and the 17th TRW from 2017 to 2019, directing the base and influencing the surrounding San Angelo community, both played a pivotal role in shaping his career.
Col. Mills was raised in an Air Force Family. His father, retired Chief Master Sgt. Larry Mills, a former cryptologic linguist, served in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1988. Chief Mills was stationed at Goodfellow for several years during his time in service, introducing his family to the San Angelo community that would later become a permanent home. After his retirement in 1988, Chief Mills returned to San Angelo with his family, where he and his wife, Micki, ultimately settled and still live today.
Col. Mills graduated from San Angelo Central High School in 1990, going on to join the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University, where he studied Business Administration and Management. He was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force in 1995 and began his first assignment at Goodfellow AFB, where he trained as an intelligence officer.
Between graduating from initial intelligence training and returning to command the 17th TRW at Goodfellow, Mills served in several major command and combatant command positions. Among these are the Chief of Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Operations at the Air Combat Command at Langley AFB, Va., the Executive Officer to Deputy Chief of Staff for ISR at the U.S. Air Force headquarters in Washington, D.C., as well as many significant positions in Japan, Korea, Italy, England, and other countries. Mills deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a mission commander, accruing 1,497 combat hours and over 200 combat sorties throughout his career. He has also flown on numerous aircraft such as the Boeing RC-135, Lockheed P-3 Orion, Beechcraft RC-12 Guardrail, U-28, C-208 Caravan, RC-26, and the de Havilland Canada Dash 7.
Mills returned to Goodfellow in 2017 as the commander of the 17th TRW, where he led and oversaw many historical moments for the base. He launched the International Intelligence Training Center, which provided an inclusive space for U.S. allied service members to train and work alongside U.S. members, ultimately reinforcing international cohesion and strengthening U.S. alliances. A new, temporary lodging facility was opened to house inbound and outbound families from Goodfellow, easing military personnel’s travel and moving experiences. Mills also oversaw the Western Winds Dining Facility ribbon-cutting ceremony following the $5.3 million renovation project, which provided more space and healthier dining options to customers on base. Upon leaving Goodfellow in 2019, he was appointed the Commandant of the Squadron Officer School at Maxwell AFB, Ala.
“My favorite memory is the people of Goodfellow and San Angelo,” said Mills. “Goodfellow has highly committed selfless and quiet professionals who are passionate about the mission to develop, train, and inspire the next generation of intelligence and firefighting professionals. The people of West Texas and San Angelo are so patriotic, friendly and supportive of the base and service members. There is no better community than San Angelo!”
After a long and prosperous career, Mills has become one of the less than 1% to earn the rank of brigadier general in the United States Air Force.
“Next step is a reassignment in June,” said Mills. “I was selected for assignment as Director of Intelligence, United States Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. USSTRATCOM is responsible for strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, global strike, missile defense, analysis and targeting, and missile threat assessment.”
Goodfellow offers its congratulations to Col. Ricky Mills on his selection to ascend to the rank of brigadier general and wishes the Mills family all the best.