HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The 49th Wing hosted wing commanders, command chiefs, air crews and support personnel for the first 19th Air Force Commander’s Call and Fly-In here, March 2 - 3, 2023.
The conference brought 165 Airmen from across flying training locations together to discuss their various wings’ missions and how they fit together to accomplish the 19th AF mission of training and educating Airmen to deliver airpower for America.
A small fleet of 19th AF flagship aircraft assembled at Holloman and the collective team participated in a large force exercise that included 12 different types of aircraft, ranging from the 49th Wing’s own F-16 Vipers and MQ-9 Reapers to a C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker from Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
“Many of our instructors are very young, so while they teach the mission, they haven’t seen different mission sets across the Air Force,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Phillip Stewart, 19th AF commander. “One of the most powerful things about the 19th Air Force is that we have commanders and Airmen from all different facets and mission sets in the Air Force. It was great to see all these young instructors in the backseats of the planes where they could not just understand the theory of air power but see it in action.”
Members of the 19th AF train more than 30,000 U.S. and international students annually, including all formal aircrew training in AETC.
One of the driving factors of the commander’s call was how each wing, and subsequently the 19th AF and AETC, support the Department of the Air Force’s five core functions:
- Air superiority
- Global precision attack
- Rapid global mobility
- Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
- Command and control
“If an Air Force can accomplish all of these functions, it is a global power; if not, it is second-rate,” said Stewart. “We are the only Air Force in the world that can do all five of these things. That's what I want younger Airmen to understand: it's not just about the aircraft. We have the best-trained Airmen in the world that make us the best.”
Each wing in the 19th AF has a specific mission that its own members understand intimately, but each unit fits together in the strategic mission.
“Sometimes it can be tough seeing the forest for the trees when we’re so dialed into our own wing’s mission set,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Justin Spears, 49th Wing commander. “We really capitalized on the opportunity to get so many 19th AF wing commanders and command chiefs in one room and discuss the complementary nature of our missions. This further emphasizes how important it is to lead and develop Airmen and build combat aircrew.”