DELAWARE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Del.- Members of the Delaware Air National Guard welcomed distinguished visitors: Air National Guard Director Lieutenant General L. Scott Rice and Chief Master Sgt. Ronald C. Anderson, Command Chief Master Sergeant, Air National Guard, during a visit to the organization on January 7-8, 2016.
The visit took place during the 166th Airlift Wing’s January regularly scheduled drill weekend and included a tour of the Delaware Air National Guard Base and Delaware National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters site: Major Joseph “Beau” Biden Reserve Center in New Castle, Delaware.
Saturday aired in a wintry mix of snow for the distinguished guests as they traveled to Dover Downs in Dover, Delaware for the 18th Annual Senior Leadership Conference.
Sunday of RSD included multiple opportunities for the DANG to interact with Gen. Rice and Chief Anderson. During the morning hours, the distinguished guests were greeted by DNG leadership: Brig. Gen. Carol Timmons, assistant adjutant general-Air, Delaware National Guard; Col. Robert Culcasi, commander, 166th Airlift Wing; Chief Master Sgt. Patricia Ottinger, state command chief, Delaware National Guard, and Chief Master Sgt. Shaune Peters, command chief, 166th Airlift Wing.
Next, a meeting with the Chiefs and senior enlisted leadership of the DANG took place. Gen. Rice discussed the wave of the future in the National Guard, and his appreciation for the DANG’s role in the success of the Air National Guard.
“Delaware is the strength and muscle of our Recruiting and Retention, and that is of great value to me,” stated Gen. Rice.
During the meeting with the senior enlisted Chief Master Sgt. Anderson posed the question, “Are we developing Airmen with the ‘right DNA’ from basic training all the way through Chief Leadership Course?"
Anderson then explained that he is not sure that we are. He discussed the lack of information for Airmen entering into the Air Force about the concept of “total force” as it is today.
“In Basic Military Training Airmen receive a Basic Airman’s manual, within the manual there is one page that describes the total force as it refers to 1974 law. It doesn’t talk about the three dimensions of the Air National Guard. It doesn’t talk about the fact that Reservists are Title 10 and we are Title 32. But, it does talk about certain things such as promotion as it applies to the Active Duty Component. This is not the total force, said Anderson.
As the day progressed, the distinguished guests met with organizations including the following: 166th Family Readiness, DNG Outreach and Community Relations, 166th Operations Group, 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, 166th Airlift Squadron, 166th Maintenance Group, 166th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 166th Civil Engineering Squadron, 166th Medical Group, 166th Security Forces Squadron, and 166th Communications Flight, and the Delaware Air National Guard Recruiting office. During shop visits certain individuals were recognized and presented with coins from the distinguished guests for stellar performance and going above and beyond.
The Junior Enlisted Council assembled for a monthly scheduled meeting at the base Operations Group Theater. Gen. Rice and Chief Master Sgt. Anderson expressed key messages to all in attendance as well as throughout the day.
Rice discussed the significance of time management and balance, and expressed that this is essential to being successful in the Air National Guard.
Rice stated, “There is a three dimensional piece that you have as guardsmen and reservists.”
As guard members there is a trifold relationship between providing and caring for self, patriotism, and care of family.
“I combine the two: my providing job, my patriotic job along with family. For instance, my son is a full-time guardsman in New Hampshire, I am so proud of that. And I bring my wife to as many events as I can. Also, I add a fourth piece, which is care of myself. That includes by health, mental ability, and physical fitness.”
As he discussed the importance of family, he stood beside his wife, and also described their journey together during his career of service.
“It’s not her life, it’s not my life, it’s our life,” said Rice.
Chief Anderson described his vision of the “21st Century Airman,” and talked about ensuring that all Airmen have what they need to be successful.
“Whatever success means to you, you should have a clear path to achieve that success, regardless of what your background is or what you look like,” said Anderson.
Anderson discussed the importance of Airmen working together in numbers to allow their voices to be heard, especially the junior enlisted.
“Enlisted members make up 84 percent of the Air National Guard, you in this room, the junior enlisted make up the bulk of it. If you collectively can work together and come up with solutions to issues that you are faced with, you can effect change,” said Anderson.
Two special gatherings took place to commemorate the accomplishments of individuals within the 166th Airlift Wing. The first gathering highlighted the efforts of the 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron of the 166th Operations Group in the fight against hunger. Members of this organization raised a large amount of food including several pounds of canned goods for the War on Hunger. The distinguished guests along with Lieutenant Gen. Frank Vavala, adjutant general, Delaware National Guard, 166th Operations Group Commander Col. Christopher Kilcullen, 142nd AES Commander Col. Michelle Kirwan, Chief Ottinger, and DNG State Command Sergeant Major Donald Catalon presented a trophy to highlight the significance of this achievement.
The second gathering took place at the Major Joseph “Beau” Biden Reserve Center. Gen. Timmons recited the “Oath of Enlistment” with members of the wing as part of the members’ reenlistment, and also enlisted a new member into the Delaware Air National Guard, Airman Basic Maddy Burns. Maddy is the daughter of Master Sgt. Jimmy Burns of the 166th Maintenance Squadron. Enlistees were surrounded by family members, friends, supervisors, and co-workers during the ceremony. This enlistment was a first for Gen. Timmons, whom will assume the role of the adjutant general on February 1, 2016.
While visiting various locations on base, Gen. Rice asked members of the wing this question, “If you could change anything about the Air National Guard or the organization what would you change.” This question yielded many responses from guardsmen that voiced their thoughts, concerns, and provided feedback both positive and negative.
During this visit the distinguished guests continuously expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the men and women of the DANG. They listened to the feedback of members at each level, and expressed their dedication to assisting members of the guard with their concerns.
“I’m all in, for taking care of the people, “said Rice.
“The direction that General Rice and I have is to help you. If a single individual has a problem or something that just doesn’t work, that’s interesting, and we will look at it for a second. But we have 106,000 of you that we are concerned about. What I would ask of you is to do some homework. Let’s all do some homework, give me the scope of the problem. Ask, does the problem affect five people in Delaware, all of Delaware, seven states, or 14 states,” said Anderson.