By Staff Sgt. Dana J. Cable, 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 08, 2019
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright simulates flying a C-130 Hercules in a Multi-Mission Crew Trainer, with Master Sgt. David Long, 189th Operations Support Squadron instructor flight engineer, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Oct. 3, 2019. Wright visited multiple units across the installation including the 19th Air Wing, 314th AW, and 189th AW to learn about Little Rock AFB’s singular focus on combat airlift. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Jessica Cicchetto)
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright tests out a virtual reality headset with Tech. Sgt. Michael Feliz, 62nd Airlift Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of innovation, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Oct. 3, 2019. Wright visited multiple units across the installation including the 19th Air Wing, 314th AW, and 189th AW to learn about Little Rock AFB’s singular focus on combat airlift. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright visited Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Oct. 3-4, to meet with Airmen and take part in the base’s Wingman Day.
Wingman Day was the culminating event for the first phase of the 19th Airlift Wing’s Resiliency Campaign Plan. The RCP is the method of connecting Airmen to not only the mission, but also to the resources and community required for cultivating a culture of ready warriors.
Upon his arrival, Wright visited multiple units across the installation including the 19th Air Wing, 314th AW, 189th AW and 913th Airlift Group to learn about how Little Rock AFB’s singular focus on combat airlift is underpinned by the foundation of training that happens here and is manifested in the day-to-day operations supported around the world.
“Having the opportunity to see all four of the mission sets that you have here with the three wings and the group has been an amazing experience,” Wright said. “I got the opportunity to connect with quite a few Airmen today and yesterday -- I appreciate what you guys do.”
For all Airmen, Wingman Day started with taking a wing-wide defense equal opportunity climate survey. The 19th AW partnered with the 711th Human Performance Wing from Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, to provide a more detailed survey to approximately a third of Airmen, focusing on unit culture and mental health.
“We wanted to solicit direct feedback from members across the wing,” Col. John Schutte, 19th AW commander said. “We will take that feedback and use it to inform what our efforts will be over the course of the second phase of our RCP.”
To kick off Wingman Day, Wright augmented with security forces members checking identification cards and greeting Airmen at the gate.
Following his time with the base defenders, Wright visited Camp Warlord – Little Rock AFB’s training complex where semi-annual full-spectrum readiness exercises are held to gain a better understanding of where Airmen practice and hone their expeditionary readiness skills.
Wright then stopped by the 19th Medical Group for a surprise visit to meet with Little Rock AFB medical professionals.
Next, Wright joined Airmen at the mission expo — a festival-style display connecting junior Airman to their vital role in combat airlift.
“The expo gave everyone a chance to see the bigger picture,” said Senior Airman Matthew Head, 189th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management journeyman. “It’s a good way of building community — to take a day just to reflect on what we’re doing. The mission’s important, but most effective when everyone has a clear mind and an understanding of why we’re here.”
After the expo, Wright joined various dormitory restoration projects dubbed, Operation Dorm Storm, bringing more than 400 supervisors and base leaders to conduct small repairs and beautification efforts to the dorms; demonstrating leadership’s commitment to the health and well-being of Airmen.
“Operation Dorm Storm is all about visibly demonstrating to Airmen at the lowest level that leaders from across the base want to dedicate our time and our efforts to take care of Airmen,” Schutte said.
Before departing, Wright sat down with Airmen for lunch at the Hercules dining facility where they spoke about their personal stories and their outlooks on the Air Force.
Wingman Day ended with a family-friendly Oktoberfest celebration for Airmen to strengthen the bonds of community and celebrate the successes of phase one of the RCP.
“Whether it’s Wingman Day or what we did with the resiliency tactical pause, we all need to just stop for a minute and kind of reassess where we are and what we’re doing,” Wright said. “I like that part of your Wingman Day was helping Airmen around the installation connect to the primary mission.”
The 19th AW plans to leverage the momentum of the RCP by continuing to focus on a culture where Airmen feel connected, protected and respected.
“As we end the first phase of our RCP, I hope Airmen enjoyed Wingman Day as much as I did,” Schuttes said. “In addition to having the honor of sharing in these events with Chief Wright and some of our elected representatives, this was an excellent culmination of efforts from across our wing over the past two months to really focus in on what unites and connects us.”
Phase 2 of the RCP will be a multi-faceted education effort; redoubling efforts in Airman Leadership School, Flight Leadership Course, Key Spouse Training, various other developmental and leadership seminars and courses and forging ready warriors through full spectrum readiness exercises.