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Commander of the 18th Air Force Visits Channel Islands

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force inspects a propeller of a C-130J in the Propulsion Shop at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard on May 11, 2013. Master Sgt. Hermillo Guerrero and Tech. Sgt. David Hopkins give MeDew a briefing on maintenance procedures for the props and engines our aircraft use.  Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force inspects a propeller of a C-130J in the Propulsion Shop at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard on May 11, 2013. Master Sgt. Hermillo Guerrero and Tech. Sgt. David Hopkins give MeDew a briefing on maintenance procedures for the props and engines our aircraft use. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force is briefed by Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Soto of the 146th Emergency Management office, California Air National Guard,  on the capabilities of the crash response truck his office assembled on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, Port Hueneme, Ca. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force is briefed by Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Soto of the 146th Emergency Management office, California Air National Guard, on the capabilities of the crash response truck his office assembled on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, Port Hueneme, Ca. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force is briefed by Master Sgt. Duane Bygum of the 146th Security Forces, California Air National Guard prior to participating in a training scenario on the Wing?s Firearms Training Simulator (FATS) on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, Port Hueneme, Ca.  Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force is briefed by Master Sgt. Duane Bygum of the 146th Security Forces, California Air National Guard prior to participating in a training scenario on the Wing?s Firearms Training Simulator (FATS) on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, Port Hueneme, Ca. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force speaks with, right to left, Master Sgt. Doug Marshall, Senior Master Sgt. Phil Hart, 2nd Lt. Lauren Menard and Master Sgt. Heejong You all members of the 146th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, Port Hueneme, Ca. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force speaks with, right to left, Master Sgt. Doug Marshall, Senior Master Sgt. Phil Hart, 2nd Lt. Lauren Menard and Master Sgt. Heejong You all members of the 146th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, Port Hueneme, Ca. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force speaks to an all-hands briefing as part of his tour of facilities and missions at the 146th Airlift Wing of the California Air National Guard on May 11, 2013. McDew spoke of future missions for the unit and addressed members concerns during a question and answer period. He lightened the mood of the crowd a little when he informed them that they will not be able to return their work areas until he was asked at least three good questions, he got more than that. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force speaks to an all-hands briefing as part of his tour of facilities and missions at the 146th Airlift Wing of the California Air National Guard on May 11, 2013. McDew spoke of future missions for the unit and addressed members concerns during a question and answer period. He lightened the mood of the crowd a little when he informed them that they will not be able to return their work areas until he was asked at least three good questions, he got more than that. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

CHANNEL ISLANDS AIR NATIONAL GUARD STATION, Calif. -- Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, commander of the 18th Air Force, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., recently traveled west to meet with Airmen of the California Air National Guard, May 9-10.

His visit began with a 146th Airlift Wing C-130 flight alongside Wing Commander Col. Paul Hargrove and Vice Commander Lt. Col. Brian Kelly to Chico Municipal Airport. There, McDew visited the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's tanker base and observed fire retardant reloading pit operations.

He and his staff also observed a Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS) training mission firsthand, including a water drop in the mountains near Chico.

"The general was able to see a wide cross-section of aerial firefighting, assets and employment techniques," said Lt. Col. Bryan Allen, MAFFS pilot.

"He seemed quite impressed by how an aircraft as large as the C-130 fits into the firefighting battle plan."

McDew praised the MAFFS crew, noting "[they] made a very complex scenario look easy."

During his visit, the general met with the wing's command staff to discuss current budget issues and future total force integration plans and hosted an "all call" briefing in the wing auditorium to hear what was on the minds of Airmen. The discussion covered a variety of topics, including the budget, professionalism, and respect.

The general also visited Airmen at work centers throughout the wing, including Base Operations, Security Forces, the Propulsion Shop, the 562nd Air Force Band, and Medical Group facilities.

"This was a great opportunity to show him our mission and it gave Gen. McDew great context in which to make decisions for total force integration," said Kelly.

Commander of the 18th Air Force Visits Channel Islands

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force inspects a propeller of a C-130J in the Propulsion Shop at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard on May 11, 2013. Master Sgt. Hermillo Guerrero and Tech. Sgt. David Hopkins give MeDew a briefing on maintenance procedures for the props and engines our aircraft use.  Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force inspects a propeller of a C-130J in the Propulsion Shop at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard on May 11, 2013. Master Sgt. Hermillo Guerrero and Tech. Sgt. David Hopkins give MeDew a briefing on maintenance procedures for the props and engines our aircraft use. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force is briefed by Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Soto of the 146th Emergency Management office, California Air National Guard,  on the capabilities of the crash response truck his office assembled on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, Port Hueneme, Ca. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force is briefed by Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Soto of the 146th Emergency Management office, California Air National Guard, on the capabilities of the crash response truck his office assembled on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, Port Hueneme, Ca. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force is briefed by Master Sgt. Duane Bygum of the 146th Security Forces, California Air National Guard prior to participating in a training scenario on the Wing?s Firearms Training Simulator (FATS) on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, Port Hueneme, Ca.  Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force is briefed by Master Sgt. Duane Bygum of the 146th Security Forces, California Air National Guard prior to participating in a training scenario on the Wing?s Firearms Training Simulator (FATS) on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, Port Hueneme, Ca. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force speaks with, right to left, Master Sgt. Doug Marshall, Senior Master Sgt. Phil Hart, 2nd Lt. Lauren Menard and Master Sgt. Heejong You all members of the 146th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, Port Hueneme, Ca. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force speaks with, right to left, Master Sgt. Doug Marshall, Senior Master Sgt. Phil Hart, 2nd Lt. Lauren Menard and Master Sgt. Heejong You all members of the 146th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron on May 11, 2013. McDew?s visit was part of an overall familiarization tour of the missions and facilities at the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, Port Hueneme, Ca. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force speaks to an all-hands briefing as part of his tour of facilities and missions at the 146th Airlift Wing of the California Air National Guard on May 11, 2013. McDew spoke of future missions for the unit and addressed members concerns during a question and answer period. He lightened the mood of the crowd a little when he informed them that they will not be able to return their work areas until he was asked at least three good questions, he got more than that. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew commander of the 18th Air Force speaks to an all-hands briefing as part of his tour of facilities and missions at the 146th Airlift Wing of the California Air National Guard on May 11, 2013. McDew spoke of future missions for the unit and addressed members concerns during a question and answer period. He lightened the mood of the crowd a little when he informed them that they will not be able to return their work areas until he was asked at least three good questions, he got more than that. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner

CHANNEL ISLANDS AIR NATIONAL GUARD STATION, Calif. -- Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, commander of the 18th Air Force, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., recently traveled west to meet with Airmen of the California Air National Guard, May 9-10.

His visit began with a 146th Airlift Wing C-130 flight alongside Wing Commander Col. Paul Hargrove and Vice Commander Lt. Col. Brian Kelly to Chico Municipal Airport. There, McDew visited the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's tanker base and observed fire retardant reloading pit operations.

He and his staff also observed a Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems (MAFFS) training mission firsthand, including a water drop in the mountains near Chico.

"The general was able to see a wide cross-section of aerial firefighting, assets and employment techniques," said Lt. Col. Bryan Allen, MAFFS pilot.

"He seemed quite impressed by how an aircraft as large as the C-130 fits into the firefighting battle plan."

McDew praised the MAFFS crew, noting "[they] made a very complex scenario look easy."

During his visit, the general met with the wing's command staff to discuss current budget issues and future total force integration plans and hosted an "all call" briefing in the wing auditorium to hear what was on the minds of Airmen. The discussion covered a variety of topics, including the budget, professionalism, and respect.

The general also visited Airmen at work centers throughout the wing, including Base Operations, Security Forces, the Propulsion Shop, the 562nd Air Force Band, and Medical Group facilities.

"This was a great opportunity to show him our mission and it gave Gen. McDew great context in which to make decisions for total force integration," said Kelly.