124th Fighter Wing welcomes ANG Command Chief

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Sarah Pokorney
  • 124th Fighter Wing
The Air National Guard Command Chief visited the 124th Fighter Wing at at Gowen Field here Jan. 9.

Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling took time during the visit to speak with 124th Fighter Wing's junior enlisted Airmen and student flight trainees during two enlisted all calls.

Hotaling addressed concerns regarding the future of the A-10 Thunderbolt II flying mission and inquiries about the recently announced cyber mission slated for the Idaho guard.

"The average Idaho Airman will never have to worry about having an Air Force mission--that mission can change," said Hotaling. "The cyber mission is a new platform and no different than the piece of metal that we traditionally see on the ramp. It's just a different way that we deliver Air Force capability."

He used the example of the cavalry that was the weapon system of choice for militaries around the world for more than 400 years.  In 1939 tanks, trucks, and airplanes came on the scene and the cavalry weapon system became obsolete.

"There's nothing wrong with the cavalry person, there's nothing wrong with the cavalry weapon system--except that it became obsolete by technology and there's nothing you can do about that," Hotaling said. "So what did the cavalry people do? They dismounted their horses and become those tank drivers, airplane pilots, bombardiers, and gunners."

Airmen were given the opportunity to interact with Chief Hotaling and ask him any questions they had about the Air Force and the Air National Guard. Hotaling discussed his key focus areas that include the renewing of the commitment to the profession of arms, the health of the force, and recognizing and embracing the accomplishments of Airmen.

"I truly appreciate Chief Hotaling and all of the Airmen who were able to interact with him while he was here in Idaho," said Chief Master Sgt. Tammy Ladley, 124th Fighter Wing command chief. "His message at the all calls were what the Airmen needed to hear and he even made time to provide several Airmen with leadership development."

Renewing of the commitment to the profession of arms includes the Air Force core values, focus on performance and training, and education requirements. A part of the profession of arms includes leadership, mentorship, and supervision as well as the deliberate development of Airmen. Hotaling discussed Air Force Instruction 36-2618, the Enlisted Force Structure, also known as the "Little Brown Book" and the importance it has to the career of every Airmen.

"In any Airman's career they are defined by education, training and experiences," said Hotaling."Experiences are the only way you can validate where you are at and where you are going. This means volunteering for deployments, volunteer for exercises, do those extra things that help you broaden your perspectives and test your skills. That's what makes you a good airman and that's how an Idaho guardsman controls their destiny."

Other topics included the health of the force. Resiliency was a part of the discussion, which included mental, physical, social and spiritual aspects. As part of the health of the force, Hotaling discussed the importance of sexual assault prevention and response. Focus on safety and employment of new technologies round out the discussion on health of the force.

Recognizing and embracing Airmen's accomplishments was also one of the topics discussed during the all call. Telling Airmen's stories and recognizing them both informally and formally is important. Informal recognition like thanking them for coming in, is one of the easiest ways to let Airmen know that they are valued everyday.

"If you are a supervisor, it is your job to recognize the Airmen that work for you," said Hotaling. "In my office we have a no handshake policy. When people come in to meet me we give high-fives. The psychology of a high-five equals 15 minutes of positive conversation."

According to Hotaling, each Airman has a part and fits into the Total Force mission, "At any moment, they can be called upon by their nation or state and have to take what they do here seriously and mobilization is a reminder of it."