Monday, September 14, 2009

Air Guard director asks for best and brightest to help shape future of Air National Guard

Left: Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt, Director of the Air National Guard.

Taking care of airmen and utilizing the talents and knowledge base within the ranks was the common theme during the specific Air National Guard session at the National Guard Association of the United States conference in Nashville, TN, Sept. 13.

“We need to focus on developing our future leadership,” said Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt, Director of the Air National Guard.

Wyatt spoke to about 400 Air National Guard delegates from 54 states and territories during the Air-specific breakout session on the third day of the conference.

He said the Air National Guard needs to develop characteristics in airmen so they can attain top positions within the organization.

He called for leaders to help move both themselves and those in their charge from technical positions through tactical, and eventually into strategic areas.

“Get people outside their comfort zone,” Wyatt said. “There are challenges out there that excite our young people, and it’s up to you and me to give them the opportunity to excel.”

Wyatt also touched upon ongoing changes in force structure, including proposed mission requirements for several units throughout the Air Guard based on a concurrent and proportional roll out plan for fifth-generation aircraft by the Air Force.

“The Air National Guard will likely have less fighter wings,” he cautioned. “But there are opportunities out there for us. This is a great time for the Air National Guard.”

Wyatt called for the states’ adjutants general to work closely with Air Guard leadership to develop the Strategic Planning System, which will outline the future role of units throughout the Air National Guard. The near-term target includes fighter and tanker missions, but the plan will also outline requirements for cyber warfare and joint missions.

“Then we’re going to hand it to the Chief of the Air Force, and we’re going to fight like hell to get it,” Wyatt said as the room broke out in applause.

He implored units throughout the Air Guard to “send me your best and your brightest,” adding that the Air National Guard is at a point where “we need to maximize our efficiencies.”

“If we don’t maximize our resources, then those resources will be taken from us,” Wyatt said.

“And if we don’t do this smartly, then someone else will do it for us—perhaps ‘un-smartly’,” he added.

Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
National Guard Bureau Public Affairs Office

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