EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.-- Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills, 19th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Kristina Rogers, 19th Air Force command chief, visited the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, June 7-8.
Wills and Rogers visited the 33rd FW to meet with the Airmen, host a commander’s call to discuss the updates to pilot training, and learn about rated diversity and community outreach efforts conducted by the 33rd FW personnel.
“There are a lot of things changing in our society and in our Air Force,” said Wills. “It’s this digital revolution that if you look back on how technology has changed in your life and your career, the last 10 to 15 years have been pretty dramatic, and we see that these things are just continuing to accelerate.”
They met with Airmen across the wing, recognizing and inspiring Airmen with duties ranging from aircraft maintenance to Airmen in support roles across the wing. Several Airmen were highlighted for their exemplary work and dedication to the mission.
“All of our installations are different in their own way and the Nomads have a different culture, which is an awesome thing to see everyone coming together to get the mission done,” said Rogers.
Wills had the opportunity to meet with AIM HIGH Flight Academy students from the Air Force Recruiting Service’s Detachment 1 that were also here for a visit to gain mentorship from active duty Air Force F-35 pilots assigned to the 33rd FW.
“There’s no automatic success, all of the people you look at that are successful in life have had to work really hard,” said Wills.
In October 2018, Det. 1 was established to develop innovative programs in support of the Air Force’s Total Force recruiting efforts. It focuses on pre-accession audiences and works with partners to provide pathways to accession sources like the U.S. Air Force Academy, Reserve Officer Training Corps and Officer Training School.
“It’s been a hard year and we’ve worked through a lot,” said Wills to AIM HIGH Flight Academy students. “We still have a lot of work to do, but have faith and be confident in your futures.”
The 33rd Fighter Wing “Nomads,” is a graduate flying and maintenance training wing for the F-35A Lightning II. The wing also has two geographically separated organizations at Tyndall Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field, Florida. Annual student training yields on average 58 F-35 pilots, 150 F-35 A/B/C maintainers, 140 intelligence personnel in support of Air Force Special Operations Forces, 48 intelligence personnel in support of F-35 operations and 82 air battle managers in support of Air Force operations.