Commander of ACC drills with the VTANG

  • Published
  • By Airman Jon Alderman
  • 158th Fighter Wing
Gen. Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle, Commander of Air Combat Command (COMACC) at Langley Air Force Base, Va., visited the Vermont Air National Guard, Saturday April 11, 2015.

"The COMACC came to the VTANG to see what makes the Green Mountain Boys world renown," said Chief Master Sgt. Brian Marchessault, the Command Chief Master Sergeant of 158th Fighter Wing.  "It's because of the 1,100 great Airmen who bring combat capability through a collaboration of federal, state and security efforts and members. The Green Mountain Boys have never failed to respond when the need arose."

Carlisle visited several units including the VTANG as part of his new position as COMACC. This marks his first official visit to an Air National Guard unit. Throughout his tour, the general made several stops at base offices to meet with the Airmen of the VTANG. A segment of Carlisle's tour took him to the VTANG Fire Department where he recognized a few Airmen as Top Performers. While there he spoke on the importance of skills and dedication of its members that gives strength to the Air Force.

"Burlington has blazed the trail for the nine other detachments that have stood up and accepted the Total Force Initiative as part of their mission," Tech. Sgt. Ryan Robichaud, a Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the 134th Fighter Squadron Detachment said. "I believe this concept of Total Force will be the new way of doing business. We are all Airman, we are all trained to the standard required to complete the Department of Defense and the Air Force mission."

Total Force Integration, where active-duty and National Guard airmen work together on the same installation. Air Guard, Air Reserve, and civilian components all function as single unit, each with unique assets and capabilities. Total Force Integration brings active Airmen to National Guard bases to learn through extensive experience creating a more effective team.

"General Carlisle's visit clearly demonstrated his deep commitment to ensuring all Air Combat Command units are mission ready," said Col. Patrick Guinee, commander of the 158th Fighter Wing.  "The Airmen of the 158th Fighter Wing could not have been prouder to have him in their spaces addressing issues that matter to them."

At the conclusion of his visit Carlisle took to the stage to speak with all the Airmen of the base. He began by describing how incredibly important the Air Force's Total Force Integration program is as well as its community basing initiative.  Carlisle emphasized the Air Force is confronted with a myriad of challenges, from a shrinking budget to manpower reductions, the force must continue to be innovative to face those challenges. He stressed the significance of being able to overcome difficulties allows Airman to be ready for missions in the present and the future.

Carlisle encouraged Airmen to continue to set the standard not only for themselves but also for everyone. He said it is important to continue to learn because there will always be ways for professional development and improving mission efficiency.

"What we do as members of the military makes a difference, changes lives and benefits the world," said Carlisle.