NEVADA AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Nev. --
With the mission to “Discover the Unknown,” leaders from the 480th Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Wing, along with their Total Force Integration partners, gathered Dec. 4 to 7, 2017, to discuss and plan the future during a Global Synchronization and Planning Meeting at Nevada Air National Guard Base, Nevada.
A room full of Active-duty, National Guard and Reserve commanders, superintendents and other key personnel, listened to U.S. Air Force Col. Jason Brown, 480th ISRW commander, explain the importance of the meeting, to ensure they are prepared to lead both the Airmen and the mission in the right direction.
“I need your ideas and help with determining how we prepare for the unknown that 2018 and beyond will bring,” said Brown. “We must continue to build on our successes. Given what we do for our nation, this is the most important meeting we could have.”
The meeting provides leaders the opportunity to collaborate about best practices for taking care of Airmen, building working relationships, hearing directly from wing leadership and bring up site-specific concerns.
“With being a global wing, all the groups are different and all have different problems,” said Col. James Mock, 694th ISR Group commander. “There are a lot of common problems that we face, so the cross tell value of seeing what the groups are doing or how they are approaching other problems is invaluable.
“As a team of teams, we’re ensuring the boss has the ability to ensure we’re all synchronized, that we have a shared understanding of the challenges we face as an organization, and that he is bringing us together to have those conversations and shared purpose,” he said.
Leaders were able to collaborate on such issues as Roadmap to Innovation, Airman Resiliency Teams and manning, and they discussed making changes to policies to enhance the ISR mission for the Airmen.
With the 480th ISRW being made up of geographically separated Active, guard and Reserve units, this meeting provides a venue where everyone can strengthen their interoperability.
“When this particular group of people meets, it’s 100 percent on two things, the warfight and enabling our Airmen,” said Lt. Col. Brian Gunderson, 152nd Intelligence Squadron commander. “We’ve been doing Distributed Common Ground System missions since it was the Contingency Airborne Reconnaissance System, and I would say the relationship has never been better. We’ve never been prouder to be part of this organization and all the good work that has been happening.”
One of the topics highlighted at the meeting was innovation.
The 480th ISRW has created an innovative ecosystem where Airmen are encouraged to create the future of ISR technology.
“The importance of this one (topic) in particular is that the ideas come from our Airmen and what they may believe is a small thing, how those ideas are passed through the organization and can potentially become something that can changes the Numbered Air Force, Major Command and Air Force,” said Mock. “There are no bad ideas. The only bad ideas are the ones that you don’t share because you are afraid or embarrassed.
“How do we break through that?” Mock asked. “Our leadership goes to bat for our Airmen, their time and families, while also trying to make them effective in both their professional and personal lives is truly remarkable.”
Another key topic was Airmen’s career development.
Each group has their own method for developing Airmen, but the focus at the meeting was on how to continue to provide the best opportunities to all Airmen.
“Each and every one of our Airmen has the potential to make a difference, in their and their coworker’s lives, in the mission and to the nation,” said Chief Master Sgt. Amy Long, 692nd ISRG superintendent.
“Every single one of them has the potential,” she said. “We’re fighting for their education, advanced courses, money and the resources they need to give them the opportunity to develop themselves and each other.”