Air National Guard Command Chief visits the 106th Rescue Wing

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Christopher S Muncy
  • 106RQW/PA
The Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Air
National Guard completed his last jump and spoke with members of the 106th
Rescue Wing during a three-day visit in September.

Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling began his visit with an on-base tour and
jump with the 102nd Rescue Squadron and 103rd Rescue Squadron, and ended his
third day with enlisted personnel in a pair of town-hall format meetings.
These meetings were held to discuss important issues Airmen face in the
Guard, allowing Hotaling to answer Airmen's question.

During his time with the wing, Hotaling emphasized the evolving
responsibilities of the Air National Guard.

"Let me explain something to all of you," he said, "the Guard that you
joined [prior to 9/11] no longer exists.  Prior to 9/11, we were a strategic
reserve; but that's not today's Air Guard. The new reality is we are now an
operational reserve of the Air Force. Things have changed."

Hotaling was thankful for the opportunity to conduct his final jump from a
military aircraft one last time before his retirement after nearly 28 years
of service. 

"Yesterday I did a jump with the [102nd Rescue Squadron and 103rd Rescue
Squadron] here, and a big thanks to everyone who made that happen," Hotaling
said. This was something that I really wanted to do and I will be forever
thankful to everyone here."

During the lunch with selected junior Airmen, Hotaling spoke with Airman 1st
Class Kelly Barnes, a distinguished honor graduate from the Air Force's Fire
Protection Academy and the first female member of the 106th Rescue Wing Fire
Department. Barnes was presented with the Chief's coin, one of only two
Airmen to be coined during his visit, recognizing her for her outstanding
performance in tech school and at the 106th Rescue Wing.

"It's a great honor [to be coined,]" Barnes said "It makes me want to keep
working hard and to keep excelling. It's not just a random coin that you put
somewhere and say 'oh, I got it.' You try to live up to it."

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