The 18th Air Force commander, Maj. Gen. Sam Barrett, capped off the end of a three-day tour of the Showcase Wing with a commander’s call Oct. 12 at the Scott Event Center.
During the tour, Barrett and Chief Master Sgt. Todd Petzel, 18th AF command chief, visited Airmen from the 375th AMW, 932nd Airlift Wing and the 126th Air Refueling Wing.
“This wing is phenomenal,” Barrett said to a packed house. “This wing has so much going on that it’s overwhelming in a couple of days to get out and visit with all of you.”
Over the course of three days, Barrett and Petzel visited with Airmen from different units, discussing their missions, soliciting suggestions for improvement and highlight star performers. Both leaders also took the opportunity to have lunch with Airmen, NCOs and officers from the wing to discuss their experiences, highlight how they fit into the 18th AF mission and talk about what will be expected of them in the future.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
“The world is changing,” Barrett said. “And we have to change with it. We have to be ready for cyber challenges. We have to be ready for the things great powers can throw at us. We have to think differently. We have to be innovators. We have to be creative. We’re ready for it.”
Barrett spoke on Team Scott’s accomplishments and thanked them for working hard and always doing what is right.
“I know how hard you work, and I know there’s a lot of sacrifices,” he said. “I know a lot of you have deployed and will deploy again. It’s not easy, but you do it, you volunteered for it, and you’re the best in the world at it. So I want to say thank you. Thank you for the sacrifices, and thank you for being part of a winning championship team. Because that’s exactly what you are.”
With approximately 39,000 active-duty, guard, reserve and civilian Airmen and approximately 1,100 aircraft, 18th Air Force manages the global air mobility enterprise through the 618th Air Operations Center, 12 wings and one stand-alone group.