ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. --
The Deputy Director of the Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Duke A. Pirak and Brig. Gen. Donald K. Carpenter, director of logistics, engineering and force protection, National Guard Bureau, visited the 177th Fighter Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard, on September 10th to recognize the wing and their participation in the Air National Guard’s first Production Assessment Team (PAT) visit earlier this year.
The visit to the 177th Fighter Wing began with a mission brief, followed by a wing all-call where Airmen were recognized for their accomplishments in support of the PAT. Pirak and Carpenter then participated in an Airmen luncheon where contemporary base issues were discussed. Airmen were given the opportunity to engage with the leaders on topics that impact their day-to-day at the wing.
During their visit, both Pirak and Carpenter thanked the 177th Fighter Wing and coined several Airmen for their willingness to implement the changes recommended during the PAT visit.
“What is remarkable about the 177th is that this organization took all of our assessments and did something about it,” said Pirak. “That’s something that you should be proud of.”
The PAT’s goal is to look at the best practices from some of the best units and share that with other organizations.
“We’ve got a fight coming that will be intense; we will be teaming up in new and interesting ways, and we are all going to be a part of it,” said Pirak. “Readiness is imperative now. Thank you for your sacrifice; I am so proud of you!”
Currently, the PAT process operates by invitation of the wing commander. The 177th FW volunteered to be the first unit assessed.
“We have a nine to 10-person team led by a colonel, a chief, and other experts,” said Carpenter. “PAT conducts evaluations and pulls data from different sections, and the assessed results are out-briefed with the wing commander. PAT then returns to units in 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and quarterly. This process ensures the wing stays on track as part of its lifelong commitment.”
Following the Airmen roundtable luncheon, Pirak and Carpenter visited crucial areas throughout the wing, including maintenance and operations squadrons.
“Bravo and congratulations to the 177th Fighter Wing for having the willingness to have folks come from off-base and take a look at your maintenance operations here, the humility to be open, that perhaps there is another way to do business, and the courage to actually do it,” said Pirak.
“We are a highly experienced force, and with that experience, we get a little set in our ways, so what occurred here is remarkable; we should celebrate it. Our objective is to examine how we can do better with what we got, through tactics, techniques, and procedures, and find a way to produce more combat power for America.”