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 The 624th Regional Support Group is the largest Air Force Reserve Command presence in the Pacific. The group is comprised of five units at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Hawaii, and Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. It provides the combatant commander more than 650 combat-ready Airmen who specialize in aerial port, aeromedical staging and civil engineering operations for worldwide employment.
Command Chief presents 624th ASTS Reservist with coin
Chief Master Sgt. Dwight Badgett, command chief master sergeant, Air Force Reserve Command, presents Staff Sgt. Tony Solilai, a Reservist assigned to the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, 624th Regional Support Group, with his command chief coin June 12. Chief Badgett met with Reservists of the 624th RSG in small groups during the June unit training assembly as part of his visit to Hawaii and Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kimberly Erickson)
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Air Force Reserve Command chief visits Hawaii, Guam reservists

Posted 7/7/2010   Updated 7/7/2010 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Kimberly Erickson
624th Regional Support Group

7/7/2010 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM, Hawaii -- The command chief master sergeant for Air Force Reserve Command visited 624th Regional Support Group in June to learn about the challenges facing reservists in the Pacific.

Chief Master Sgt. Dwight Badgett's trip took place in conjunction with back-to-back unit training assemblies in Hawaii and Guam. The visit was part of his 36-month effort to tour 36 AFRC units.

Chief Badgett met with 624th RSG members in small groups, participated in unit physical training and concluded his visit with an open-forum chief's call to discuss topics ranging from deployment readiness and physical fitness standards to the importance of enlisted force development.

The chief illustrated his credo of "Airmen first, Reservist second," when he responded to a question regarding how changes to the Air Force's physical fitness program standards and testing would affect UTA weekends:

"When you look at the logo above your left pocket, what does it say?" he asked as he pointed to the 'United States Air Force' stitching on his air battle uniform.

"It's our standards that make us the only reserve component in the world (that is) ready to deploy in 72 hours," Chief Badgett said. "With this capability, we can't afford to not uphold the same standards as our active-duty counterparts."

Chief Badgett said the true litmus test for Citizen Airmen is deploying with Airmen in the Regular Air Force and setting the standard.

"We know we've done it right when we seamlessly integrate with our active-duty counterparts while deployed," he said.

Enlisted force development is part of that seamless integration.

It starts with the backbone of our command, the Reserve's enlisted force, and goes beyond mentoring junior enlisted members, Chief Badgett said.

"You get to senior leadership by diversifying your experience and talent," Chief Badgett said.

Furthering education and pursuing career opportunities outside of the primary job, such as a volunteering for a recruiting tour or cross-training, make for a well-rounded reservist, according to the chief.

For Chief Master Sgt. Brian Wong, 624th RSG command chief, having Chief Badgett personally experience the 624th RSG was extremely important.

"The 624th RSG headquarters is located 2,500 miles from the mainland and Guam is even further," said Chief Wong. "We shared with Chief Badgett our specific challenges as a geographically separated unit, and our strong Total Forces Initiative efforts with our active-duty and Air National Guard partners."

While other regional support groups in the Air Force Reserve are geared more towards administrative support, the 624th RSG has specific aerial port, civil engineer and medical missions. The group also has integrated relationships with Pacific Air Forces, 13th Air Force, 15th Airlift Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard, 36th Wing and Guam Air National Guard.

"Conveying this message is difficult at best," Chief Wong said. "So, having Command Chief Badgett visit our units in Hawaii and Guam provided us an opportunity to effectively share this message."

Although the 624th RSG has unique challenges, it is home to the second largest aerial port squadron in the Air Force and provides a range of support functions not typically found in an Air Force Reserve unit, according to Chief Badgett.

"As Citizen Airmen, when you're out in the community and your neighbors see you in uniform, you're the best recruiting tool we have," Chief Badgett said.


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