Director of the Air National Guard visits Jefferson Barracks

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brittany Cannon
  • 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The director of the Air National Guard viewed missions firsthand, received a base tour and recognized Missouri Citizen-Airmen during his first-ever visit to Jefferson Barracks July 21.

Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III visited the historic Air Guard base, which is home to a number of 131st Bomb Wing units, along with the 157th Operations Group, 239th Combat Communication Squadron and 231st Civil Engineer Flight.

Clarke was able to visit with Missouri Air Guardsmen and see the unique capabilities they provide to the state of Missouri and the United States Air Force. The general received unit mission orientations and a walking tour of the historical Jefferson Barracks grounds.

Throughout the tour, Clarke met and "coined" several Airmen for their superior performance, including: Master Sgt. Carissa M. Correll, 131st Logistics Readiness Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Brian P. Conrey, 131st Civil Engineering Squadron; Master Sgt. Timothy J. Loyd, 239th CBCS, Staff Sgt. Kenneth A. Romero, 157th AOG and Maj. Bridget S. Zorn, 157th AOG.

"Guardsmen make the choice to defend their homeland every day," said Clarke before coining one of the Citizen-Airmen. When presenting the coin, he described his design, which includes his three Air Guard core competencies emblazoned on its face: warfighting, security cooperation and homeland operations.

"I was beyond ecstatic and completely honored that the director of the Air National Guard personally handed me his coin," said Romero. "It was a privilege I wasn't expecting."

"Our Citizen-Airmen are rightly proud to have had the opportunity to share about their roles and their missions with the Air National Guard's top leader," said Col. Michael Francis, 131st Bomb Wing commander.  "A critical mass of our 131st people - and a critically unique, high-tech and particularly effective slate of military capabilities - remains resident here at Jefferson Barracks  These capabilities set us apart in the Guard and across the entire Air Force."

Completing the visit, Clarke said he was pleased to have met so many superior performers throughout the wing and to have toured historic Jefferson Barracks, which remains the oldest continuously operated military installation west of the Mississippi river.