AETC command team visits Holloman AFB Nov. 4-5

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Quion Lowe
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Education and Training Command and Chief Master Sgt. Erik Thompson, command chief of AETC, visited Holloman Air Force Base, Nov. 4-5 to see first-hand how Team Holloman is accelerating change, improving quality of service, developing leaders, and cultivating an environment of excellence.

 “Holloman Airmen are moving with a purpose – a purpose to accelerate change in mission and environment,” said Webb. “It’s great to see innovation and force development taking root at Holloman. I’m proud of the efforts to improve training and education, without losing sight of the need to take care of Airmen and families.”

Members of the 49th Wing provide combat-ready Airmen and train F-16 Viper and MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators, deploy combat-ready forces and support various mission partners.

While interacting with team members at the tactical level, Webb and Thompson were briefed on the challenges and successes that come with developing operationally ready MQ-9 and F-16 aircrew.

“Holloman is home to the only schoolhouse for RPA pilots and sensor operators and I enjoyed seeing how the instructors are rapidly meeting the need for the combat environment,” said Webb. “As the team thinks through innovation in training RPA aircrew, relevant training remains at the forefront, along with fostering military Airmanship and maintaining battlespace awareness for aircrew.”

Holloman’s plans for the future and improvements in the quality of services available for Airmen and their families were also discussed.

“It’s great to see Holloman continue to improve,” said Thompson. “The team here builds on Air Force core values to constantly enhance lethality and readiness and develop resilient Airmen.”

The AETC command team also met with local community leaders and discussed various topics influencing retention, sustainability and inclusion.

Leaders from the 49th Wing and community partners collaborated with policy professionals and subject matter experts to address licensure portability for military spouses and educational services for military family members. In February 2020, New Mexico governor, Michelle Grisham, signed a house bill that expedites the process of obtaining and transferring professional occupational licenses, which went into effect July 1, 2020. 

“Taking care of our military families is vital to retaining Airmen,” said Thompson. “Across the Air Force, we’ve recognized the need to address licensure portability and public education opportunities. It’s reassuring to see the 49th Wing proactively working with the community to address these two areas.” 

The visit was the first one to Holloman for Webb and Thompson since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The 49th Wing command team walked into a COVID environment and they have been doing a notable job at maintaining mission readiness and taking proactive measures to mitigate training impacts despite the pandemic,” said Webb. “The focus on fighting through COVID goes beyond the mission and it’s reassuring to see Airmen here getting creative as they develop opportunities for their peers and families to maintain connections during these challenging times.”

Webb further added that the forward leaning culture at Holloman is what enables a lethal and ready force.