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Air Guard calls all ranks to involvement in force's strategy

  • Published
  • By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
  • I.G. Brown Training and Educaton Center

The Air National Guard’s Strategic Planning System has been developing priorities for about 13 years (2006), and while “strategy” is in its name, its perspective on matters of utmost significance relies on a shared dialog and input from the highest general to the most junior Airman, its leaders recently said.

Since its inception, SPS held regional workshops at regular intervals throughout the year to identify issues of strategic significance and to develop proposals for action within SPS or in collaboration with the National Guard Bureau staff.

“I am proud of the level of effort our SPS team is producing as strategic thinkers and bringing the value of the ANG to the total force,” U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Pete Hronek, chair for the SPS steering committee, wrote in the committee’s Spring newsletter.

Last week, SPS held its steering committee meeting at the Pentagon. General Hronek pointed out that state representatives serve as the conduit of information to and from the ANG’s 90 wings or other organizations within the states and regional committees.

“We are in the season for many of our regional conferences,” General Hronek said. So it is at these meetings where senior leaders weigh in on more than half a dozen main projects that affect the Air National Guard’s future as a whole if not, affect the total Air Force. It’s not difficult to reason why the general asks that states’ senior leaders attend. All ANG members have a voice through these regional meetings, he said.

With all of these meetings in mind, SPS accesses and reaffirms its priorities. Last fall, SPS finalized and signed the 2019-2039 Strategic Master Plan with the ANG’s Director.

“This document focuses on our vision for the future as we become more ready and lethal as an operational reserve force with strategic depth,” General Hornek wrote at the time.

It is the underlying notion, leaders say, that input from the most junior Airmen to most senior officer makes for the winning strategy, that makes the agendas of the Air National Guard’s regional workshops and national steering committees. Input and awareness brought to SPS regional representatives are not only valuable at a strategic level, but it gives voice and insight to a local Airman’s operational needs, officials said.

“All Air National Guard Airmen should involve the strategic plan and know that they play a part in its development and success,” U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Wendy K. Johnson, SPS communications priority chair said, through an email.

General Johnson pointed out that SPS developed an informational video through the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center’s production department. They want that broader understanding that the ANG’s strategy and priorities are not created behind closed doors and then stovepiped.

SPS also sent out a wallet-sized card of imperatives to help guide leaders in the field. It even coordinated with TEC public affairs for this feature article. In spite of all that there’s the broader message to tell: strategy is not above rank or responsibility. It’s an executive field-driven enterprise.

“I think these are the key messages SPS wants Airmen to know: Take a moment to read through the 2019-2039 Strategic Master Plan. Gain an understanding as to what your input is and what role you might take to its success, which is the success and future of your Air National Guard,” General Johnson said.