Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

20th Air Force Fall 2014 Leadership Symposium

by Airman 1st Class Sahara L. Fales
Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs


11/24/2014 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- This year's 20th Air Force Leadership Symposium brought together approximately 120 leaders at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to discuss opportunities and challenges in the intercontinental ballistic missile mission.

Joining the Task Force 214 and 20th Air Force commander, Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein, was distinguished speaker Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of U.S. Strategic Command.

"I certainly appreciate the leadership and commitment to this critically important mission," Haney said. "We wouldn't be where we are today without the remarkable folks that work for us."

Leading transformation of the ICBM culture and defining the way ahead were key topics of discussion at the symposium.  Gen. Darren McDew, commander of Air Mobility Command, and Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Alston, senior enlisted leader of U.S. Strategic Command, offered their personal insight into these topics.

"Our ultimate role is to ensure that the ICBM force is a safe, secure and strategic deterrent," Weinstein said.

Weinstein stressed the important role every Airman has in the ICBM mission.  As the technical experts, Airmen are utilizing the Force Improvement Program, which empowers Airmen by soliciting bottom-up feedback and acting on their suggestions, to identify ways to better execute the ICBM mission.

"Our Airmen are hand-selected to come into this business; it is our responsibility to give them the resources they need to be successful," Weinstein said.

During the past eight months, 20th Air Force and the missile wings have enacted many improvements in executing the mission and caring for Airmen and their families.  As improvements continue, commanders and senior enlisted leaders remain critical to the process, Weinstein said.

"Everybody is in here because you were personally chosen to lead the nuclear enterprise," the 20th Air Force commander said.  "Together we can fix any problem."

It was helpful for those who attended the symposium to network and discuss tactics with peers in their career fields, said Chief Master Sgt. Jason Colon, 91st Operations Group superintendent. 

"It's always good to be able to come together and talk to other operations group senior enlisted leaders in settings like this," Colon said.  "Together, we can trade ideas and find out how the other person is handling different issues or implementing improvements."

One improvement Colon discussed with peers is training realignment for facility managers of missile alert facilities.  "The new construct is much more efficient and effective," Colon said.  "It was valuable to hear how others were implementing the realignment."

In addition to training realignment, recent ICBM improvements at Minot include the purchase of new trucks for missile crews to drive to their sites and cleaning / refurbishment of Launch Control Centers.

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