by Tech. Sgt. Mark Wyatt
157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
10/16/2015 - PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- The
director of the Air National Guard expressed his confidence in the
Airmen of the 157th Air Refueling Wing during an all-call Oct. 15 here.
Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III said the Air Force selected the right
organization to lead the Air National Guard through the transition of
the Air Force KC-135 to the KC-46A Pegasus air refueling aircraft
expected to arrive at Pease in 2018.
"All the excellence that this wing brings, all those awards that you
have, all of the pride that I see in the faces of this wing -- I have no
doubt you will be able to conquer those challenges," said Clarke, whose
visit comes less than a month after the wing broke ground on a KC-46
hangar expansion and modernization project that is expected to be
complete in 2017.
Clarke said Pease's highly successful active duty association with the
64th Air Refueling Squadron played a role in it being selected as the
first Air National Guard-led main operating base. The 64th Air Refueling
Squadron is part of the 22nd Operations Group at McConnell Air Force
Base, Kan., but operationally assigned to the 157 ARW. The squadron was
activated in October 2009.
"Part of the reason this wing was selected to receive the new tanker is
because of how well you are doing active association," he said. "I have
no doubt that this is going to be a wing that knocks it out of the park
when it comes to establishing themselves as the first Air National Guard
In a total force environment, Clarke told the Airmen not getting caught
up in what status they're serving in, but for them to understand their
mission to fly, fight and win.
"I am very proud that I am an Airman first and foremost," said Clarke, a
command pilot with more than 4,000 hours in the A-10, C-26 and F-15
aircraft. "I never worried about what status I was in, I had a mission
The general, spent two days at Pease before visiting with the Vermont
Air National Guard, said his visit is an important tool to hear feedback
from Airmen on the ground level and find ways to improve a variety of
things that can impact Airmen. He also took time to highlight the many
ways they are making a difference.
"We have an opportunity to serve in three different ways: warfighting,
homeland operations and security," he said. "We're doing a lot on behalf
of the nation."
In addressing security, Clarke highlighted the National Guard's State
Partnership Program, including New Hampshire's partnership with El
Salvador, and the important role it plays in building "enduring
relationships" with foreign nations.
His focus on warfighting, the homeland and operations resonated with
Staff Sgt. Amanda Harriman, who was coined by Clarke for her outstanding
service with the 157 Medical Group.
"I really appreciated the values that he spoke about," said Harriman. "I
think it truly defines who we are as National Guard members and what
our future holds."