JSTARS Airmen welcome ANG Command Chief Hotaling

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons
  • 116th Air Control Wing Public Affairs
The Air National Guard's top enlisted advisor spent the day with Airmen from the 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, sharing key messages from his Aim Points and listening to their concerns during his visit here, July 16.

During his visit, Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling, command chief of the Air National Guard, focused on personal interaction with Airmen, conducted two town hall style meetings and met with key enlisted leadership councils and Airmen resiliency representatives.

"There are three things that I think are effecting the Air National Guard right now from an enlisted perspective that we have to get our arms around," shared Hotaling during the enlisted town hall meetings.

"We have to recommit to the profession of arms, ... we need to really be concerned about the health of our force, ...  and recognizing and embracing how awesome you are here at the Georgia Air National Guard and the 116th", said Hotaling.

Each town hall meeting ended with a question and answer session where the chief opened the floor for Airmen to ask anything that was on their minds.

"It was nice having the Chief of the Air National Guard come down and talk to us said," Tech. Sgt. Ronnie Stevens, an airborne radar technician with the 129th Combat Training Squadron. "It was really about getting the Georgia Air National Guardsmen to remember where they came from."

After an early morning session with the Airmen, Hotaling took the opportunity to put one of his key messages in action as he recognized five Airmen; presenting them with his personal challenge coin for their contributions to the JSTARS and Air National Guard missions.

"I was proud to be recognized by the Command Chief of the Air National Guard," said Staff Sgt. Johnathan Strand, a surveillance radar technician with the 116th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "He told me we were images of what the Air National Guard represents and to keep up the good work."

Another group of selected Airmen from both the 116th ACW and the 202nd Engineering Installation Squadron got some face-to-face time with the chief over lunch.

While sharing the story of his career, Hotaling told how he achieved his personal goals leading to the ANG's top enlisted spot.

"Those were personal goals, but they were all built off of solid foundational leadership," said Hotaling. "To be successful in your career it's all laid out there for you. It's a matter of you executing it."

As the day came to a close, Hotaling pointed to the American flag and the wing's newest Airmen to give the audience some perspective during an afternoon town hall meeting.

"You need to look at two things in this room that are probably the most important things," said Hotaling.  "The flag that's in the corner and that young Airmen right there," pointing to Airman 1st Class Willow Gragg, 116th Security Forces Squadron.

"That's what it's all about. We're doing it for that," pointing to the American flag, "and we're doing it with Airmen."

The 116th Air Control Wing is the sole location for the E-8C Joint STARS flying operation providing manned battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to combat commanders around the globe.