May Commander's View
By Col. Paul J. Hargrove, 146th Airlift Wing
/ Published May 06, 2012
CHANNEL ISLANDS AIR NATIONAL GUARD STATION, Calif. --
I hope the May drill finds everyone well and ready for final inspection preparations. Yesterday we had an all hands meeting and every organization briefed the status of their inspection checklists, including any problem areas. This gave the senior leadership and everyone in the wing the eyes on how we are prepared going into the comprehensive inspections starting in two weeks. Overall, I feel that we are in very good shape, but we do have some problem areas that we are still addressing to correct. The inspectors will find discrepancies, but hopefully nothing major which will cause a marginal or unsatisfactory grade. I am appreciative and truly grateful for all the hard work that has been put in by the 146th AW personnel.
I have been pursuing a C-130J simulator for most of my wing commander tour and lately we have seen some good traction on the project. I attended the Phoenix Rally Conference at MacDill AFB in Florida two weeks ago. This is a conference hosted by the AMC commander, Gen Johns, and involves all active duty, guard, and reserve wing commanders. Several subjects were discussed, including Gen Johns' vision for training aircrews in the future. He wants every squadron to have a full motion simulator to enhance training and save fuel by a substantial portion of flying training requirements in the sim. He wants to limit the amount of flights that fly empty and accomplish more operational missions. For years at the 146th AW and other airlift units, we have been flying local proficiency sorties to Palmdale and other training bases. However in the interest of fuel savings and saving money for the Department of Defense, Gen Johns now wants to pursue a new course which would limit training flights to the simulator as much as possible. The 146th AW is now slated have a simulator built beginning FY2015 and the project should be complete by FY 2017. There are two hurdles to get over that I'm aware of: to pass the cut line of the Progam Objective Memorandum (POM) FY14, and the project will also have to be approved by the Higher Headquarters of the US Air Force. I have been advised by Maj Gen Schatz, AMC/A5, that this should not be a problem and we will get the simulator. The budget situation can change in this current environment, but as of today, the simulator project is looking very good. I was also advised that AMC will pay for the procurement of the simulator of about $27 million dollars, the military construction of $6 million dollars (which will build a 12,000 square foot facility to house the sim), and the sustainment of about $1.5 million dollars for the life of the simulator. We should know more information of the POM14 by June and I will keep you updated.
I wish everyone the best of luck in the inspections and I know you will perform well. Please be confident in your training and proud of Channel Islands Air National Guard. You belong to one of the finest military units in the United States military and I am very proud of all of you. Next Commander's View I will update you on the US Forest Service J Acquisition and give you the results of the inspections.
Have a great drill,
Col Paul Hargrove