Brig. Gen. James C. “JC” Witham has been named the next deputy director of the Air National Guard. Witham had served as the chief of staff of the California National Guard and the commander of that state’s Air National Guard.
“I am thrilled and humbled for the opportunity to lead the best Air National Guard in our nation’s history; a force that is proven in combat and domestic crises,” Witham said. “I look forward to ensuring the investment the American people have made in the Air Guard continues to pay dividends.”
As deputy director, Witham will be part of the leadership team responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs affecting more than 106,000 Air Guard members in more than 88 flying wings and 200 geographically separated units throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
Lt. Gen. Harry “Bud” Wyatt III, Air National Guard director, said Witham is the right person at the right time.
“JC is an outstanding leader and we’re glad to have him on our team,” Wyatt said. “His wealth of command and staff positions will help shape and guide the Air Guard as we forge ahead to the future.”
Witham is no stranger to key Pentagon and leadership positions. He has served at the National Guard Bureau director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and NGB’s director of Air, Space and Information Operations. Additionally, Witham has been the District of Columbia National Guard’s director of operations and its operations group commander. As the California Air National Guard’s air commander, he was responsible for command and control oversight of five major field-level organizations comprised of nearly 4,700 military and civilian personnel serving at 10 locations.
Witham also was nominated for appointment to the rank of major general. The nomination is pending U.S. Senate confirmation.
Witham was commissioned in 1980 as a distinguished graduate from the United States Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colo. He also was a distinguished graduate from undergraduate pilot training and subsequently the outstanding graduate from the F-15 Fighter Weapons Instructor Course. He served on active duty for 10 years flying the F-15 before joining the District of Columbia Air National Guard in 1990, where he flew the F-16.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Witham was responsible for executing the initial airborne defense of the National Capital Region and establishment of the permanent alert facility at Andrews AFB, Md. A command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours, primarily in F-15 and F-16 aircraft, Witham has combat flying experience in Operations Northern Watch, Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom. As a Citizen-Airman, Witham is an American Airlines captain.