Florida governor, adjutant general visit 101st AOG
By Angela Pope
AFNORTH Public Affairs
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (Jan. 7, 2012) —The governor of Florida is to Florida Air National Guardsmen what the president of the United States is to active duty military: commander in chief.
The Air National Guardsmen of the 101st Air and Space Operations Group, which provides the manning for the 601st Air and Space Operations Center, got to spend time with their commander in chief Jan. 5 when Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited Tyndall Air Force Base.
Joining the governor on the tour were Maj. Gen. Emmett R. Titshaw Jr., Adjutant General of Florida, and Brig. Gen. Joseph G. Balskus, Assistant Adjutant General – Air, Florida National Guard.
“It’s a distinct honor to have just one of these individuals visit us, so to have both the governor and the adjutant general visit us is very special,” said Col. Tom Cucchi, 101st AOG commander. “A visit like this validates to our Airmen the importance of what they do and confirms that our mission continues to be of pinnacle importance to our country.”
The governor and the generals received a 601st AOC mission briefing and a tour of the facility. The tour included a stop at the operations floor where air controllers keep an eye on air traffic across the country. The tour also included a demonstration of how controllers can rapidly identify and track aircraft in busy air space.
“It’s very impressive to see how dedicated and how professional the Airmen here are, and how seriously they take on the mission of defending America,” Scott said.
The group also visited Tyndall’s 43rd Fighter Squadron and toured the state-of-the-art F-22 Raptor. After the governor concluded his visit, Titshaw, Florida’s senior ranking National Guard officer, conducted a town hall meeting with members of the 101st AOG.
The general took questions and addressed topics such as the budget, possible reductions in force, possible changes to the retirement system and the future of Florida’s Air National Guard.
“We’re going to see organizations change,” he said. “But we as a service have done this before, and we can do it again.”
Titshaw went on to express his excitement about visiting Tyndall.
“It’s always like coming home whenever I come back to Tyndall,” he said. “This organization has come a long way, and the progress has been propelled by your professionalism. The great job you do day in and day out is why I’m able to tell senior leaders that this is where America’s AOC belongs.”