AG and Virginia Air National Guard Staff delivered “State of the State” brief


Col. Thomas K. Wark, commander of the 192nd Fighter Wing, briefs the accomplishments of the wing during the "State of the State" brief May 17. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Meaghan E. M. Selki, Virginia Air National Guard Public Affairs)

ARLINGTON, Va. — Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, together with leadership from the 192nd Fighter Wing, 203rd RED HORSE Squadron, 200th Weather Flight and Joint Force Headquarters delivered the “State of the State” brief to Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt, III, Director of the Air National Guard, and his Air Staff leadership team May 16 and 17.

The main objective of the two-day event is communication between organizations. Specifically, topics of discussion included: accomplishments, significant issues, areas where assistance may be needed from the National Guard Bureau and mitigation plans.

Long noted that it’s also a great opportunity to continue to build relationships, many of which are already in place. “Resources come from this level,” Long said. “It is important for them to understand the issues that we deal with, the issues of what’s going on in the field, at the unit level.”

During the first day, Brig. Gen. Zane R. Johnson, Air Component Commander, together with Air leadership across the state delivered the brief to Brig. Gen. Brian G. Neal, Air National Guard Readiness Center Commander, and the Air Staff. The initial brief was followed by break-out sessions with respective counterparts to take a deeper dive into specific issues and begin making headway on solutions. “We want to try to move the states forward. That’s why we have these meetings … That’s our promise to you,” said Neal.

On the second day, Johnson and key leaders convened to brief Wyatt on the issues and the progress being made as a result of the meetings from the previous day.  Leadership from the respective components highlighted some of the biggest accomplishments made in the past year.

Recruiting recognized high-performing personnel: Tech. Sgt. Rick Dumas received the Region IV Rookie Recruiter of the Year award; Master Sgt. Neil Keane was recognized for the first, second, and third quarters as the Recruiting and Retention Non-Commissioned Officer with the Most Accessions, and Master Sgt. Dan Miller was recognized for the Century Level Club Award. Overall, all recruiters generated 96 enlistments in a seven month period.

The 203rd RED HORSE Squadron highlighted the return of 122 Airmen from a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia in October whereupon 70 projects were completed, valued at $32 million across 18 sites and seven countries. Construction of the Disaster Relief Beddown System is underway. Vehicle maintenance upgrades totaling $212,000 and communications infrastructure upgrades were performed. The squadron looks forward to a paving project in Stafford, as well as a joint effort with the Army on a restoration project in Petersburg.

The 200th Weather Flight deployed five personnel for six months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. The flight also conducted a training exercise with the 121st Weather Flight of the Washington, D.C. Air National Guard, and four training exercises with the 34th Civil Support Team and local first responders. The flight was critical in providing Hurricane Irene weather support for the Joint Operations Center and the Adjutant General of Virginia. Finally, they facilitated the completion of the Virginia Air National Guard installation closure in Sandston.

The 192nd Operations Group was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period from September 2009 to September 2011. During the Unit Compliance Inspection in November, the group was 99% compliant. In September, the F-22 returned to flying operations after a 5-month stand-down.

The 192nd Intelligence Squadron met critical mission requirements in the Distributed Common Ground System. The squadron filled 25 Title 10 lines in support of OEF accomplishing more than 116,000 mission hours. The Guardsmen have reinforced a strong guard culture among their active counterparts as recognized experts with critical capabilities.

The 192nd Maintenance Group was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period from September 2009 to September 2011. Additionally, two National Guard Bureau awards were presented to Maintenance professionals: Maj. Matthew Hummel was presented the Lew Allen Award, and Capt. Elim Sniady was presented the Leo Marquez Award.

The 192nd Mission Support Group locally developed a reorganization plan that currently awaits NGB approval and drafted a host-tenant memorandum of understanding with the 633rd Air Base Wing. Multiple inspections, audits, and reports of survey have marked successful results in bettering the support provided to the wing.

The 192nd Medical Group reported a 70% participation rate in the “Tropic Care” humanitarian mission, an Innovative Readiness Training service in Hawaii. During the mission, more than 10,000 patients were treated, providing approximately $2 million in care, and achieving more than 40,000 hours of training time. Medical readiness for the wing maintained an average above 80% for the year. There was a 90% reduction in medical record errors, and a 50% reduction in physical exam cycle time.

Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Frazier, Command Chief of the Virginia Air National Guard, reported continued success with the Retirement Separation Transition Assistance Program that has now been in place for about a year. Frazier also noted the honor guard has more than doubled in size since last year, with a total of 11 participants. They’ve supported four retirements, three funerals, two community events and a Hometown Heroes Salute.