WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Missouri --
The Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff paid a visit to Citizen-Airmen of the 131st and 509th Bomb Wings and the 139th Airlift Wing here during the August unit training assembly.
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia visited to see how total force integration works here and to discuss the chairman's priorities with members of the wings.
"When we come together as a hybrid team, we're really able to meet our president's needs as commander-in-chief," said Battaglia. "In my experience, I think Missouri leads the total force integration effort. In fact, there's no question; in my mind about it, they do."
Battaglia flew into base on a Missouri Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter with Missouri Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sgt. Joe Sluder. They were welcomed by command chief master sergeants from the three units: 131st BW Command Chief Master Sgt. Paul Carney, 509th BW Command Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Drinkard and 139th AW Command Chief Master Sgt. Randy Miller escorted Battaglia throughout the day, touring the maintenance hangars and speaking with selected Airmen from the three wings.
Over lunch, Battaglia discussed issues within the military, career development and the importance of having a mentor. He then toured a B-2 hangar where he was briefed by 131st members from the maintenance, low observables and weapons shops.
"One of the great things about the sergeant major's visit is his close-up of the hangars," said Carney. "When we drove by the hangars and the bay doors were open, you couldn't tell who is 131st and who is 509th. This is what it is like here at Whiteman every day, and it works very well."
After the tour on the flightline, Battaglia visited with more than 100 enlisted Airmen at the Mission's End club, and shared the Joint Chief chairman's priorities. Those four priorities include:
1. Achieving our national military objectives.
2. Develop Joint Force 2020.
3. Renew our commitment to the Profession of Arms.
4. Keep faith with our Military Family.
The selected Airmen then had an opportunity to ask Battaglia questions regarding joint-force training and retirement benefits as they pertain to members of the National Guard and Reserve forces. He discussed plans that are in the works to change the way both of those issues are handled.
After his remarks, Battaglia handed out 20 ceremonial coins to Airmen who were recognized by their supervisors and closed the day with additional remarks to the group.
"There's no way our nation could sustain our efforts without the Guard and Reserve," Battaglia said. "I hope our nation continues to use you to reach our highest dividends."
During the sergeant major's speaking engagement at the Mission's End, he encouraged all Citizen-Airmen - enlisted and officers alike - to take advantage of a new free downloadable e-book titled, The Noncommissioned Officer and Petty Officer: Backbone of the Armed Forces. That book can be found at: http://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Publications/ncobackbone.pdf.