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Jersey Guard above the curve

Story by Tech. Sgt. Barbara Harbison, 108ARW/PA Photos by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA

Lt. Gen. Craig R. McKinley (left), Director of the Air National Guard, addresses 108th Air Refueling Wing and 177th Fighter Wing Airmen, along with New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers during the Town Hall Meeting at the Joint Training and Training Development Center.

Lt. Gen. Craig R. McKinley, Director of the Air National Guard, visited New Jersey, was briefed on the workings of the Army and Air Guards and flew off to the next stop on his itinerary with a very favorable view of how well the two components work together on Aug. 28.

Lt. Gen. McKinley, who was recently promoted to four star general and now serves as the Chief, National Guard Bureau, remarked several times that New Jersey’s Air and Army Guards “are better integrated than any state he has ever visited.”

McKinley and his staff were briefed by the commanders of the 177th Fighter Wing, 108th Air Refueling Wing and the N.J. Army National Guard. He took a windshield tour of McGuire Air Force Base and a helicopter tour of the new mega base that encompasses the Dix-McGuire-Lakehurst area.

Airmen and Soldiers gathered in the Joint Training and Training Development Center, Fort Dix in the afternoon and had a Town Meeting with Gen. McKinley. Prior to giving his coin to Airmen of the 108th and 177th, he told the audience that every Airman is coin-worthy. “We have the best of the best in today’s Guard,” he stated.

“We all want to be leaders,” said McKinley. He told the Airmen and Soldiers that they would spend their best moments of leadership at home with their families. “As strong as we are as a nation, that is how strong we will be as the Guard,” he said.

Sgt. 1st Class Brent Ludlow (left), Field Artillery Training Developer at the Joint Training and Training Development Center explains the Call For Fire Trainer Immersion Lane to Lt. Gen. McKinley (right).

Lt. Gen. McKinley (left) coins Senior Airman Heyward D. Wiggins IV (right), 108th Security Forces, during the Town Hall Meeting.

Photo above: Lt. Gen. McKinley (center) poses for a photo with (lr) Tech. Sgts. Kelly Banta and Donna Pugh, both with the 177th Fighter Wing; Master Sgt. Sydney Fuchs from Joint Force Headquarters - New Jersey and Senior Airman Colleen Shea, also from the 177th.

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Volume 34 Number 3 Staff / Information
(c) 2008 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs