NAVAL AIR STATION JOINT RESERVE BASE FORT WORTH, Texas --
The Air National Guard’s top enlisted member visited Citizen Airmen of the 136th Airlift Wing, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, June 26.
U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Maurice Williams, Air National Guard's command chief, spent the day with Texas Guardsmen, touring the unit, providing mentorship and listening to feedback from wing members.
“The visit was a great opportunity for the wing to highlight our missions and accomplishments, while also addressing our challenges, asking tough questions and hearing his leadership vision,” said Chief Master Sgt. Trey McKinney, 136th AW command chief. “One of the chief’s top focus areas is the deliberate development of Airmen, so it was a great opportunity to have him here to engage with Airmen and speak with them face-to-face.”
Williams met with wing leadership for an overview of the mission, capabilities, and key accomplishments of the wing in support of national defense initiatives and state-level missions. They discussed the status of the wing’s conversion to the C-130J, the preparations underway for the aeromedical evacuation squadron, and the objectives being accomplished by the Airmen from all three Texas Military Department wings in support of Operation Lone Star.
The visit to the 136th AW marks the 45th wing the Chief Williams has visited out of 90 total ANG wings, marking the halfway point just over a year and a half into the position. Williams said throughout these visits, he has been most impressed by the skill, talent, and intelligence of the Airmen he has met.
Time at the wings is so important in helping him stay connected and get his messages, and his boss’s messages (the director of the ANG), down to the most junior Airman, he said. He remarked on the communication challenges he encounters in his role and noted he and his team have incorporated different ways to reach different generations of Airmen.
“We have to ask how [younger Airmen] want us to communicate, not how we want to communicate,” he said. “We’ve got to go into their lane and operate in their domain.”
Williams spent time with Airmen of all ranks during the visit, attending the enlisted and senior enlisted advisory councils, as well as the chief and first sergeant councils. He also hosted an enlisted town hall, where he recognized several wing members for outstanding accomplishments.
During his talk, he highlighted three keys to success:
“Invest in yourself. Grow to be the best person you can be through education, training, and experience.
Monitor your circle. If you’re the smartest person in your circle, it’s time to get a new circle. Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable and push you to your maximum potential.
Embrace life’s journey. It won’t always go according to plan, but it’s important to be prepared to overcome the obstacles along the way.”
When asked about the legacy he hopes to leave behind, Williams said he is most focused on making sure his office did everything they could to develop the next generation of Airmen and prepare them for the future fight.
“When you understand the ‘why,’ you define your purpose,” he said. “I think as people are developed and operating in the ‘why,’ it impacts their purpose because they have a better understanding of their role and what they need to do as an Airman within our organization.”