18th Air Force Commander visits Pease
By 1st Lt. Alec Vargus, 157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 19, 2012
PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H -- Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, the 18th Air Force commander, arrived here Dec. 3 for a two-day visit with 157th Air Refueling Wing and 64th Air Refueling Squadron Airmen here.
The two units have been working closely together since 2009 through Total Force Integration. TFI integrates active duty and reserve component units' operations, support, and maintenance functions, leveraging the capabilities of both components for more effective and efficient operations.
In addition to visiting the units' medical, maintenance and operations groups, McDew spoke to Airmen during an All Call, where he shared his thoughts about the units' success at advancing TFI.
"I want to congratulate you on what you're doing," said McDew. "It is very important to our United States Air Force and the National Guard, and to the United States of America. I can't imagine a model of the Air Force going forward where we're not doing this."
Col. Paul Hutchinson, 157 ARW commander provided his thoughts on the two-day tour and the success of TFI at Pease.
"Pease has been identified by the command as a premier total force organization in Air Mobility Command. The visit of Lt. Gen. McDew to receive feedback and share lessons learned from our Airmen are a testament to their professionalism and successes here at Pease. Our Airmen have fully integrated across all Air Force specialties to provide more efficient and effective combat capabilities supporting the Combatant Commanders," said Hutchinson.
Lt. Col. Ryan Samuelson, 64 ARS commander, also reflected on his experience with TFI, saying, "The results of integrating with the Air National Guard have yielded benefits far greater than we ever expected. Leveraging the vast experience found within the wing, we have rapidly and effectively trained members of the active duty. The seasoning of our personnel in the wide range of state-side and overseas missions we conduct with our Air Reserve Component partners has resulted in Airmen who better understand the contributions and capabilities of our Total Force team."
In addition, Samuelson spoke of the working relationship he has developed with the members of the 157 ARW.
"It is an honor to conduct our nation's military missions with this dedicated team of professionals I have come to know and immensely respect", added Samuelson.
As 18th Air Force Commander, McDew leads Air Mobility Command's sole Numbered Air Force. During the question and answer session following the All Call, he added further praise for the efforts of both units, noting their broad impact.
"[TFI] is the model for the United States Air Force, not just Air Mobility Command and we're leading the Air Force, thanks to you," said McDew.