Story by SSgt James Ro on 06/26/2019Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, Director of the Air National Guard, and members of his staff recently visited the 154th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam June 20-21.
The three-starred general visited to see and experience the 154th Wing's wide mission sets, discuss leadership initiatives and interact with the Airmen who comprise the ANG's largest wing.
"This place called the Hawaiian National Guard has made a name for itself; You have made a name of itself," said Rice, who last visited in January 2017. "Everyone of you can add to this big picture of creating a better environment for our kids, family, and spouses, I want to thank you for how you bring all of this together."
During his two-day visit Rice, spent face-to-face time with Team Hickam Leadership, including Brig. Gen. Gregory Woodrow, 154th Wing commander, and Col. William Burks, 15th Wing commander,.
Rice had the opportunity to tour the F-22 Raptor maintenance facility and held two town hall gatherings where he shared his vision for the Air National Guard, addressed questions and expressed his gratitude towards the Airmen and all that they do.
"You are making a difference in the world in this island, this location, this Hawaii National Guard is making a difference for all of us. And I really thank you for that." said Rice. "You've really done quite a job pulling yourself together, becoming an organization, becoming a unit, and there's nothing you can't do."
Members of Pacific Air Forces Command, Maj. Gen. David Burgy, ANG Assistant to COMPACAF, Col. Chris Faurot, PACAF Headquarters ANG forces director and his deputy, Lt. Col. Jhonny Polanco, were also in attendance.
Rice's career began in 1980, when he was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York. He graduated from pilot training at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, in 1982. Prior to his current role as director of the Air National Guard, Rice served as The Adjutant General and Commander, Massachusetts Air National Guard, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts.
The visit included a flight on a 204th Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III, as a means of transportation to the island of Kauai where he met with Geographically Separated Unit Airmen as well as making other trips to the 297th ATCS GSU Unit located in Kapolei.
During a second town hall gathering, Rice with several outstanding performers, to include outstanding performers including Command and Control Battle Management Operations Airmen of the year and also presented Brig. Gen. Gregory Woodrow, 154th Wing commander, with his coin and thanked him for all his accomplishment, leading to his retirement next month.
"Is this a great place to work because we add value to this country? He had done that for me, and he has done that for all of you." said Rice. "This is an exceptional wing commander. He is one of our top ten of almost 100 Wings that we have. Well done Woody, Well done."
In his closing remarks, Rice reiterated his feelings of appreciation for Airmen of the Hawaii Air National Guard and said, "Bottom Line, I have a tremendous amount of respect for all of you and doing what you do. And for that you can be proud, and I am very very honored to stand her in front of you as the director of the Air National Guard and say, I had the opportunity to serve with you." Thank you for all you do, thank you."