Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Air National Guard spreads the aloha

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Robert Cabuco
  • 154th Wing Public Affairs
Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Air National Guard James W. Hotaling met with Airmen from the Hawaii Air National Guard here Nov. 4-12.

Delivering the command messages and to relay the pulse of more than 91,000 men and women comprising the enlisted ranks of the Air National Guard can be daunting. Hotaling however, is up to the task. Taking it one unit and one Airman at a time.

"The importance of getting out of Washington D.C. and actually getting into the operational Air National Guard organizations, from the office of the Command Chief's perspective, is that we have to understand reality" said Hotaling. "The only way that you can do that is by talking and seeing the Airmen in action."

In town hall styled meetings, Hotaling talked about his key focus areas such as renewing of the commitment to the profession of arms, health of the force, and embracing the accomplishments of Airmen.

"No matter what status you're in, you're always an Airman, so that's important. This profession of arms, the things that we do for our nation, must be the utmost priority for all of us in the Air National Guard."

A second key focus area had Hotaling underscoring the importance of health and how it impacts the mission.

"The second thing I tell Airmen is be healthy. It's resilience." Hotaling said. "Whether it's physical resilience, mental resilience, social or spiritual resilience, you've got to be that whole Airman to be the best Air National Guardsman you can be."

And not to be out done, his third focus area centered on recognition. Hotaling said Airmen must be recognized for the outstanding jobs they do and presented his coin to several deserving Airmen.

"Recognize and embrace the fact that we are awesome in what we do every single day in the Air National Guard. We need to make sure as supervisors and leadership that we recognize the Airmen for what they do," he said.

The town hall meetings provided a means and venue to facilitate discussions between Hotaling and large groups of Airmen, there were however, opportunities for Hotaling to connect with Airmen one-on-one as he visited the individual units that comprise the HIANG. The visits were not limited to the HIANG's main complex on the island of Oahu as Hotaling was able to visit geographically separated units such as the 293rd Combat Communications Squadron on the island of Kauai and the Mount Kaala Air Force Station located on top of Oahu's highest peak.

While visiting the 291st Combat Communications Squadron on the island of Hawaii, Hotaling was able to go through up close what an Airman in the HIANG experiences. Hotaling was able to shadow an Airman as he assisted with security in an area affected by an active lava flow.

"It's been a very unique experience spending time with you at the Hawaii Air National Guard," Hotaling summarized. "We've spent an entire week going to see not only the unique operations within the wing, but out at your GSUs and we see resilient Airmen, we see adaptable Airmen. The Hawaii Air National Guard continues to impress not just locally, but nationally."