AFRC leadership visits 349th AMW

  • Published
  • By 349th AMW Public Affairs staff
  • 349th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The commander of the Air Force Reserve and his senior enlisted advisor toured the largest associate Reserve wing February 11-13, 2022.


Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Timothy C. White Jr., senior enlisted advisor to the Chief of Air Force Reserve and command chief of Air Force Reserve Command, visited Travis Air Force Base during the 349th Air Mobility Wing unit training assembly. The opportunity allowed the wing to showcase its people, mission, accomplishments, and innovation efforts.


“We know the Reserves have been operating with a lot of fiscal constraints,” Scobee said. “Twenty percent of the Air Force capacity is in the Reserve, yet we occupy only 3% of the budget. In our tenure as Reserve leaders, Travis is one of the places we have prioritized to come and see what those organizational impacts have been to you.”


The three-day trip included an overview from each of the wing’s four groups. The 349th Operations Group highlighted total force integration at the only wing operating three major weapon systems in the command. They also updated leaders on the addition of the fourth aircraft with the status of the KC-46 Pegasus program and the KC-10 divestment plan. While visiting the 349th Medical Group, the AFRC leadership saw improvements to the physical evaluations process and heard from Reserve Citizen Airmen who supported COVID-19 operations nationwide. They learned about the diverse missions within the 349th Mission Support Group and took part in a hands-on demonstration from the explosive ordnance disposal unit. The 349th Maintenance Group also showcased total force integration, along with innovative use of training simulators for readiness.


Staff Sgt. Joshua Fowler, 349th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, led some of the 349th Maintenance Group briefings and showcased how Reserve Citizen Airmen are using aircraft systems simulators to keep current with readiness training.


“There are some things we just aren’t able to do out there on the weekend, so we wanted to really show how we stay up-to-date on training and how we keep our Airmen refreshed,” Fowler said. “It was important to show this side of maintenance training. I felt like the general was very taken by it, and it wasn’t something he expected to see.”


Innovation was showcased at several points throughout the AFCR leadership visit, culminating in a round table at Nexus Spark, the 349th AMW innovation cell.


“I wanted them to know that we’re here and to see what Airmen are capable of coming up with,” said 1st Lt. Judah Anolick, 70th Air Refueling Squadron pilot and director of Nexus Spark. “It was important for leadership to see the possibilities of where we can go when there is proper funding and people to support and encourage ideas.”


Throughout their visit, Scobee and White made a point to connect with as many Airmen as possible, always emphasizing that it’s about the people. Meals with various groups provided plenty of opportunity for open, two-way discussions between the AFRC leaders and Airmen of all ranks. Airman Ericka Tomlin, an administrator for the 349th MDG, has been in the Air Force less than a year and was excited to attend one such function.


“I was nervous at first, but it was really nice to be able to ask questions and get advice – we were just people talking,” she said. “Being new in the Air Force, it was very motivational. They told us to always remember why we joined the service and that by maintaining our discipline and motivation, we can get through anything.”


White passed on additional advice while attending one of the wing’s Bring On Leadership Development, B.O.L.D., events.


“We seem to think that what’s important to us is what’s most important to everyone,” he said. “But we need to seek input from others. We need to mentor and also seek mentorship, particularly from those who don’t look like us.”


As their visit wound down, Scobee and White expressed their gratitude for the Airmen they met and the drive they demonstrated.


“Thanks for letting us be here,” Scobee said before departing. “We had an opportunity to talk to a lot of your leadership and we understand there is a lot of work that is going on in this organization. It’s pretty obvious to see the enthusiasm you have here and it’s great because without organizations like this, we would be lost – we are so proud of the things you’ve been able to do.”