NJANG holds 5th Annual O-6/E-9 Summit

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Matt Hecht
  • New Jersey Air National Guard Public Affairs

The 5th Annual O-6/E-9 Summit held by the New Jersey Air National Guard marked a significant milestone in the pursuit of strategic vision. Themed "Ready to Fight Tonight," the Summit, held at the 177th Fighter Wing on June 7, embraced the ideals and principles that lead to mission success. 

Strategic vision is a powerful concept that fuels ambition and shapes decisions, and also inspires action. It paints a clear picture of a desired future state, outlining goals, values, and principles that steer the course of action. By serving as a compass, it provides direction and purpose required to achieve long-term objectives.

Brig. Gen. Patrick Kennedy, Commander of the New Jersey Air National Guard and Assistant Adjutant General-Air, talked about the importance of exposing Airmen to as many opportunities as possible.

“Whether you’re a Command Chief or a Senior Airman, you should get that conversation going to keep everyone on the same page,” said Kennedy. “As a Chief, you should be taking that Airman to meetings, you should be asking Airmen to shadow you for a day to gain that institutional knowledge.”

Brig. Gen. Bradford Everman, Chief of Staff with Joint Force Headquarters-Air, New Jersey Air National Guard, emphasized the national interests of protecting American security, expanding economic opportunities, and defending democratic values.

“We need to build partnerships, and we need to be world leaders,” said Everman. “Integrating with allies and partners and building teams is the key to success.”

The New Jersey Air National Guard operates based on four primary tenets: strengthening the mission with best practices, enhancing the mission by leveraging future vision, transitioning the mission through program changes, and deliberately developing Airmen. Everman emphasized the significance of providing Airmen with the necessary training, motivation, and career management to effectively serve.

“We need to provide Airmen with the training and motivation to serve while managing them through their careers,” said Everman, “A strength we have are the two Wings - the 108th Wing and 177th Fighter Wing. Having the two Wings allows us to meet those objectives and develop multi-capable Airmen.”

Breakout sessions conducted during the summit facilitated discussions on the evolving landscape of national security, technological advancements, and geopolitical challenges, all of which have shaped the Air National Guard. This platform allowed participants to share insights, exchange ideas, and explore command concepts. New Jersey State Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael Rakauckas expressed the value of coming together and engaging in these important discussions, as they guided the attendees towards strategic objectives. 

“The true measure of our success lies in how well we take care of our Airmen,” said Rakauckas. They are the core of our mission, and their well-being and development are paramount. By investing in their training, motivation, and personal growth, we empower them to reach their full potential and contribute to the success of our organization.”