News | Jan. 11, 2019

AFRC command team visits Airmen

By Capt. Denise Hauser 940th Air Refueling Wing

The commander of Air Force Reserve Command and its command chief visited with Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 940th Air Refueling Wing at Beale Air Force Base California over the Unit Training Assembly weekend.

Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee and Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly came to meet with unit members to see what the Airmen do on a Reserve weekend, listen to their issues and concerns, and discuss current events.

 “Our goal as a command team is, in four years when our time is up, that your lives as reservists are better than they are right now,” Scobee said.  “There are so many road blocks and friction out there that get in the way of you doing your jobs and to continue to serve, and we are trying to remove those.”

The command team told wing leaders before arriving they wanted to spend little time in briefings and meetings, and as much time as possible talking with the Airmen in their work centers.

They began Saturday by meeting with the operations group, touring the aircrew flight equipment and alert facilities. The team stopped by the command post before moving on to see the maintenance and aircraft maintenance squadrons, then headed out to the flight line where the team toured a KC-135 Stratotanker and performed a reenlistment ceremony for maintainers.

Throughout the visit, the command team talked about the three strategic priorities they wanted to get after.

“The first and most important priority is we’ve got to concentrate on what our strategic depth is and the most important part of that is readiness. If we don’t focus on that it hurts recruiting and retention,” Scobee said. “There is an operational layer that goes along with that and we are going to know what that is months ahead of time so we can give some stability to our Airmen and their families lives. So when the surge comes, our reservists are ready for the fight.”

The team also stressed balance at each stop.  Both the general and command chief talked about finding the balance between the three Air Force pillars: family, civilian job and reserve career.

“It is so important to find that balance,” said Scobee.  “If you make a career choice based on the needs of your family, that is the right answer.”

The team said the second priority is to build resilient leaders.

“When things are not going exactly right in an organization, the officers and noncommissioned officers need to have the skills set to deal with that,” said Scobee. “We want all-encompassing leaders that we are able to plug into any organization to complete the mission.”

Scobee and Kelly agreed that the third priority is reforming the organization.

“That is making your units and your squadrons stronger by removing all the things that impede your success.  It is about taking risk, but we are willing to take that risk to make your lives easier,” said Scobee. “Along with that is the third core value of ‘Excellence in All We Do,’ and that includes taking care of the Airmen.”

Scobee shared the same message of service at each stop.

 “The biggest problem is that none of us have to be here, you are here because you want to be here, you want to serve, so we have to create an environment where you want to show up to work,” he said. “The command chief and I felt that the best way for you to learn how we are going to fix the broken things and processes, is to hear it directly from our mouths. That’s why we are here this weekend. The more information that you have makes you more in control of the decisions you make in your life, and creates stability for your family.”

Saturday’s lunch was meeting with first- and second-term Airmen to learn about their backgrounds and answer their questions, and after lunch they met with 940th Aerospace Medical Squadron members.

The last stop before getting on the plane to head back to Washington, D.C. was to meet with the 940th Development and Training Flight composed of Airmen who are enlisted into the unit, but have not gone to Basic Military Training yet.

 “We earn and wear our uniform with pride,” Kelly told them. “Our job is to make sure you can work in a pain-free environment. Our job is to make sure you are excited about serving and want to continue serving.  We work for you, and to make you and your lives better.” she said.