TYNDALL AFB, FLA --
The new commander of the Continental United States North American Aerospace Defense Command Region-1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) acknowledged it’s been a dynamic introduction to the organization’s action-oriented array of mission sets and said he’s thoroughly impressed with the professional dedication and skills each CONR-1st AF (AFNORTH) member brings to the enterprise.
Lt. Gen. R. Scott Williams, who took command in July, shared these thoughts and others during his first commander’s call Monday afternoon at Horizons Community Center.
A command pilot with more than 3,900 flight hours, including 300 combat hours, Williams arrived at Tyndall in July from his duties as Chief, Office of military Cooperation, U.S. Embassy, Kuwait. He took the opportunity during this initial meeting to further express his gratitude for the outstanding support he’s received thus far and outlined his priorities for the upcoming year.
“From day one, it’s been apparent to me this is a high-speed organization filled with dedicated professionals working together executing comprehensive mission requirements daily, whether it’s a Defense Support of Civil Authorities mission such as Hurricane Matthew or unraveling the intricacies of a complex exercise like Vigilant Shield,” he said.
Williams said he’s primarily focused on dual themes – the mission and the people who accomplish it. In fact, shortly after his arrival, he made arrangements to conduct a comprehensive climate survey across the organization to gauge the disposition and morale of the team.
"I want to say thank you to all who completed the climate assessment. It helps us pull the common thread and make improvements,” Williams said. “We are privileged to be in this organization. Thank you for defending our skies and doing what you do."
And when it comes to that defense mission, he said he seeks active interagency engagement from all the partners involved to be consistently apprised of threats – both asymmetric and symmetric—and maintain a readiness to respond before they devolve into full-blown crises.
The general said he is also focused on ensuring professional development and mentoring programs are available for continued individual and team growth across the enterprise.
He supports mentorship efforts that enable both individuals and teams to thrive through shared knowledge, vision and experience. Mentorship also fosters innovation and more “thinking outside the box,” traits critical to better develop our force. He emphasized mentorship is a two-way street. The mentor needs to encourage the subordinate to aim high for their aspirational goals and help map a path to achieve those goals. Additionally, subordinates should proactively reach out to leadership for career guidance and support.
Infrastructure and equipment modernization across the enterprise is also a focus area for the new CONR-1st AF (AFNORTH) commander. Williams said subordinate units are a priority and we need to make sure they have what they need to accomplish our no-fail mission.