MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
The 908th Airlift Wing welcomed 22nd Air Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Bret Larson, and 22nd Air Force Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Chin Cox, as they visited the wing during the May Unit Training Assembly.
Larson and Cox toured the 908th AW to observe the wing’s progress and to see how higher command can best serve the wing and its members.
While visiting various sections within the wing, the command team spoke to members and stressed the importance of bridging the gap between the decision makers at 22nd Air Force and the Airmen those decisions will effect.
“We want to enhance communication and show that we understand the challenges of some of our processes,” said Larson. “Our goal here is to show that the Airmen are our priority and we want to help them be the best, most capable and most fulfilled Airmen they can be.”
During their time here, the command team held two separate “all calls” speaking to both the enlisted members and the commissioned officers of the wing. Larson and Cox took the opportunity to listen to Airmen’s perspectives on changes the wing is facing and to explain the rationale behind some of those decisions made at a higher level.
“I want everyone to have the opportunity to ask the people making these decisions what their influences were,” said Larson. “Often a decision is made from higher up that has a direct impact on an Airman and that can be a challenge, but it really helps the organization so I want us to have flat, open communication about some of the issues that can come with that.”
Larson said it was his hope to alleviate some of the concerns Airmen may have, and to let them know that he and Cox are aware of the challenges that will come with the wing’s anticipated re-mission to the new MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopter Formal Training Unit.
“I used to be a flyer,” said Cox. “I had to tell myself there’s a life after flying. There’s always something new to look forward to, we just have to set our perspective in on how we handle resiliency.”
908th AW leadership also had the opportunity to meet with the command team to discuss the opportunities facing the 908th AW as it moves into a new chapter.
“It gives me a great sense of pride to be able to show off the wing and the Airmen and all of the amazing things they do here,” said 908th AW Commander, Col. Craig Drescher. “I was glad to be able to show that to the command team and to have them validate all that we’ve accomplished.”
Drescher said meeting with Larson and Cox reinforced his confidence in the wing’s bright future.
“I believe Major General Larson is now more energized than ever in making sure we provide good futures for our Airmen,” said Drescher. “I’m sure he’s going to use all the tools in his toolbox to help our Airmen find the right place for them, wherever that may be.”
Larson left the wing with words of optimism and encouragement, saying the future of the wing is in the hands of its members.
“The great thing is you all have the opportunity to make something from scratch,” said Larson. “The book on how to do this doesn’t exist, you get to write it. You get to define your future, your identity, and I look at that as a really exciting thing.”