The Pacific Air Forces inspector general team rated the performance of the active 15th Airlift Wing and Air National Guard’s 154th Wing and 624th Regional Support Group as “excellent.” It was the first Total Force operational readiness inspection the units have undergone and the first for the two wings since they began jointly operating and maintaining the new C-17 airlifter in 2006. According to a Feb. 19 article in the Hawaii Reporter, Col. Giovanni Tuck, 15th AW commander, said achieving the excellent rating on the first joint PACAF ORI was “no small feat.” He added, “Team Hickam is setting the standard for Total Force Integration, the way our Air Force operates with our Air National Guard and Reserve partners as a cohesive unit.” In the newspaper article, Brig. Gen. Peter Pawling, 154th Wing commander, called the successful ORI “an almost unbelievable inspection.” He said: “We have never scored this high on an inspection since we became a wing in the 1990s. This is one we’ll remember for a long, long time.” (Read about more in this Hickam report by SrA. Carolyn Viss)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.