Gen. Raymond Johns visits Wyo. Air National Guard
By 2nd Lt. Rusty Ridley, 153rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 12, 2010
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Gen. Raymond E. Johns, Jr., commander, Air Mobility Command, visited here over the weekend to speak with members of the Wyoming Air National Guard and to experience the west at Cheyenne Frontier Days.
"I want to thank you very much for what you do for the Air Force, Wyoming, and the country," he said to a crowd of Airmen who gathered on base to hear the general speak about issues pertaining to the Air National Guard and to take questions from the audience.
Johns toured facilities on the WyANG installation and met with individuals in their respective workplaces and solicited their comments about the unique relationship with AMC's first ever active associate unit. "I have never looked at the guard, reserve and active components separately," he said. "We share airplanes and missions."
"We wear the uniform to protect the rights of our families," he said. Johns continued by emphasizing the importance of global vigilance, reach and power and how the Air Force
plays a vital role in the world by being equipped to respond to a situation in less than eighteen hours.
Johns highlighted the types of missions in the Air Mobility Command: airlift, air refueling and aeromedical evacuation. "You do two of those right here," he said. "What you do with your 130s is huge. You have lived it and do it so well."
"It's about what we do collectively, but also individually," he said. Johns took time to recognize individuals like Maj. Alan Brown, Senior Master Sgt. Douglas Rhodes and Tech. Sgt. Sarah Fry for their contributions both in a deployed environment and in Wyoming. He also said organizations are successful because of the role of supervisors.
The general mentioned concerns about a rising suicide rate in the Air Force.
"Moms and dads give us their children to do the bidding of the nation," he said. "We have to help one another."
He focused on the mission of AirMobility Command.
"I want to do our job all the time. We are never the subject of the sentence," he said. "You are selfless and devoted to others. Lives are saved because of what you do."
"You're a cross section of America and a very special unit," he said. "I couldn't be prouder to work with you."
Col. Dennis Grunstad, II, commander, 153rd Airlift Wing, presented Johns with a branding iron of the official brand of the Wyoming Air National Guard as a reminder of his visit to the cowboy state.
Johns was the grand marshal for one of the Cheyenne Frontier Days' parades and rode a horse in the grand entry for a rodeo.