910th Airmen visited by AFRC top leadership

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Grossi
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Chief of the Air Force Reserve Command and Commander of the Air Force Reserve, and Chief Master Sgt. Timothy C. White Jr., the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of Air Force Reserve and Command Chief Master Sergeant of Air Force Reserve Command visited Youngstown Air Reserve Station, March 6-7, 2021. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, this was the first opportunity for the duo to conduct an operational “check-up” of the Reserve Citizen Airmen at YARS.

Scobee and White’s primary focus during the visit was to gauge the 910th’s morale and readiness, to see how YARS is adapting to the new Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS), and to establish an in-person visit with Representative Tim Ryan, the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 13th congressional district.

“At its heart, this visit is about, and for, the Airmen of the 910th,” said Scobee.

Excited to be on their first wing visit in over six months, Scobee and White prioritize developing resilient Airmen, and resiliency programs are integral to that mission. They enjoyed the interaction with Airmen and the opportunity it provided them to connect and find out from the source how things are going and what their concerns are.

Scobee and White portrayed this by providing Airmen an opportunity to voice concerns and ask questions directly to the general and the chief. Topics focused on recruitment and retention, insurance benefits and changes relating to TriCare, and the Air Force Academy and other pathways for young or new Airmen to progress their careers.

Scobee shared his own experiences as an Air Force Academy cadet and claimed that some of the best leaders he has known started at an enlisted level. Illustrating this point, Scobee referenced his father, the late Lt. Col. Dick Scobee, who started as a reciprocating engine mechanic at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and later became a pilot and NASA astronaut. The nation honors his memory as the commander of the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger, on which Dick Scobee and his crew died during its final flight in January 1986.

When asked what changes the Air Force Reserve was likely to face with the change of the presidential administration, Scobee identified that the AFRC makes up approximately 20% of the Air Force and functions on a fraction of that budget.

“Although the budget has been placed under some scrutiny, we show that we can make do with what we have and can maintain what we have to protect America and its citizens,” said Scobee. “It's the innovation of Airmen like the ones at Youngstown that prove that.”

Before departing each squadron during their visit, Scobee and White recognized outstanding Reserve Citizen Airmen by presenting challenge coins, highly coveted items within U.S. military culture. Scobee indicated that even though these visitations are to gain familiarity with an installation's capabilities and readiness, he is also interested in getting to know Airmen at an individual level, referring to the Air Force Reserve as one big family.

"The best parts of these visits are the opportunity to recognize the outstanding work our Airmen are doing," said Scobee.

Scobee and White said they were impressed with the overwhelming sense of pride they saw in the 910th AW’s Airmen, not only in their jobs but in being Reserve Airmen. They also commented on the immaculate condition of the base’s facilities and equipment, directly commending the 910th Security Forces Squadron’s training areas and its state-of-the-art Combat Arms Training and Maintenance firing range and the 910th Fire Department’s PANTHER aircraft rescue and firefighting truck as a testament to the pride the 910th has in its units and wing.

Scobee and White left each squadron with the same unified message, that it is their main job and focus to improve the lives of not only Reserve Citizen Airmen, but the lives of their families as well.

“We're concerned about how we perform as an organization,” said Scobee. “How do we retain great Airmen, how do we bring new Airmen in, if we're not prioritizing how to make your lives and your families’ lives better? That's why Tim's wife and my wife came with us on this trip. We want to take a look at what we're doing with the helping agencies as well as what we're doing operationally. The resiliency piece of the jobs we do is so important, because what we ask of you can be extremely difficult at times. So what we really want to focus on is what we're doing for you.”

The general views his main responsibility as the welfare of Reserve Citizen Airmen serving at YARS and around the world.

“The reason why my job and the Chief’s job exist in Georgia and at the Pentagon is to ensure that you are successful,” said Scobee. “What we want to do is to hear from you. I want to know where we’re doing a good job and where we aren’t doing a good job. When we come back to Youngstown in a year and I ask if your life is better now, if the answer isn't ‘yes,’ then we failed you. We are trying to make changes that will affect your life. If it’s pay statuses that best suit the needs of your family or job opportunities that will help you better fulfill your service to your country, we have to be able to accomplish that. We will continue on this journey with you and for you to ensure that you are getting all those updates.”

The general said their visit was a great opportunity to interact with the 910th’s Airmen.

“It’s fantastic what they do day in and day out to keep the C-130 mission going,” said Scobee. “We know it’s not always easy especially with the challenges that have been thrown your way over the past year but I’m impressed by what an outstanding place you have made the 910th. I have no doubt that you will continue to perform at the high bar you’ve already set over the next year as we continue to adapt and move forward. I’m honored to work with each and every one of you.”