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141st - Notes from the 141st Wing Commander

Feb 2008 -- Much of what we focus on revolves around the association on aircraft assigned to the 92nd ARW, but we can't lose sight of the amazing work of our members. In the four months we've been associated, we have deployed to CENTCOM, SOUTHCOM, PACAF, Operation Jumpstart, still maintain three lines of alert, are currently working the 50th aircraft in the control column actuated brake modificaion and accomplished a myriad of training activities. This is truly impressive considering we are writing the book on associations as we go.
The Maintenance Group has done a phenomenal job of adapting to change. The process of associating has had its ups and downs (and there will be more bumps), but the work done by our maintainers is amazing. We continue to meet regularly with the senior staffs of both wings and the progress thus far has been outstanding. I believe we are headed in a direction that is sustainable, and not just designed to meet short term goals.
There is a great deal of interest in the association, so you can anticipate we will have lots of visitors. The next group to visit will be from AMC and NGB A/4. Hopefully they will be able to help with some issues we are having in regards to how finance, supply and maintenance interact as an associate wing.
There is also a new manning document on the horizon that will affect us. All wings are being "reset" by NGB, and this process has been difficult at best. We are assured the final manning document will arrive on 1 April. I mention this because we are working hard to mitigate the effects of these changes, but document changes could create force management decisions. My goal will be to manage careers through natural attrition and retirements. If you are eligible for selective retention, you should be in contact with your leadership to understand what moves are necessary.
I can't miss the opportunity to add another plug for professional organizations. I hope you all are members or seriously consider joining the organizations that speak for us in Washington D.C. We have one of the lowest memberships in NGAUS, yet they are our advocates on extremely important issues. It is difficult to ask for their support if we aren't members!
Recruiting is another hot topic! If you are a traditional and don't know what G-RAP is, ask! This program can earn you $2,000 for each person you bring into the ANG.
I am writing this article from my blackberry as I begin a journey to visit some of the wing's deployers. I am excited I have the opportunity to get out and see a small portion of what our members do. As I wrap up my first year as the wing commander, I have to admit it has been very busy, but extremely rewarding. You all should be incredibly proud of all you do. The level of participation and professionalism is awe inspiring. Keep up the good work, and we'll do our best to keep you informed.