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New Air Mobility Commander visits Niagara

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Peter Dean
  • 107th Airlift Wing
General Raymond E. Johns, Jr., AMC, Commander, wasted no time getting to know the arsenal that he now commands. The general took command Nov. 20th and almost immediately took to flight, visiting numerous Air Force Bases that now fall under his command.
On Dec. 1st the general flew into the Niagara Air Reserve Station to witness first hand the association between the New York Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve's 914th Airlift Wing. This association is the first of its kind; Niagara will be the example for other Guard/Reserve unit associations to emulate.
Escorted by both wing commanders, Col. Patrick Ginavan, 107th AW, Commander and Col. Allan Swartzmiller, 914th AW, Commander, the general along with his colleagues toured numerous joint shops, squadrons and groups. Shops that were once in separate buildings are now collocated as one, with members from both units working side by side.
"Relocating shops into one location has proven to be an effective tool," said Col. Ginavan.
Being the first association of its kind, no blue print exists. Many decisions are made at the wing level. Including the decision to join and collocate shops, groups and squadrons. Col. Ginavan along with Col. Swartzmiller heeded the input from their enlisted supervisors, concluding it makes sense to join shops and unite as one.
The wing commanders fielded questions from the general relating to Guardsmen and Reservists working together.
"Who's the NCOIC?" asked Gen. Johns.
"We each have one, they work together," said Col. Ginavan. "One week they're in charge, the next we're in charge," he added.
"It's working, it's working, everyone's getting along," said Col. Swartzmiller.
"We let the supervisors in each shop work it out, so far its worked," said Col. Ginavan."
"The upcoming year will be spent collocating other shops," said Col. Swartzmiller.
Niagara is destined to pave the road to a successful Guard/Reserve association, adding a crucial element to the Air Mobility Command's mission. To provide rapid, global mobility and sustainment for America's armed forces.