11th Air Force commander makes first visit to Guam
Lt. Gen. Stephen Hoog, 11th Air Force (AF) commander, met with Team Andersen Airmen and received a mission tour Feb. 1, marking his first visit to Guam since the 36th Wing became part of the 11th AF.
During his visit, he met with Airmen from the 736th Security Forces Squadron, 36th Mobility Response Squadron, 36th Medical Group and several other squadrons at Northwest Field, Guam as members briefed their missions and explained what capabilities they bring to the fight.
The general also took the opportunity to explain Guam’s unique role as a joint environment located in the western-most sovereign reach of the United States. He spoke of how Guam provides a unique training area for joint forces to improve their relationship and strengthen ties with regional partners.
“The capacity we have here on Guam, with our continuous bomber presence that’s here day in and day out, is a statement of our commitment to the region, and the ability to flex up and bring a large number of air frames,” Hoog said. “For example, the 70-plus (aircraft here) for the Cope North exercise, shows the ability to not only host our coalition allies and practice together, it shows we have the logistics trail, training, tactics, techniques and procedures to make it all happen. Guam is only going to become more important in the future as we get into this pivotal refocus here in the Pacific region.”
The general added that Airmen should be ready to support combatant commanders worldwide, stressing the importance of readiness for global deployment and employment. He said service members will continue to defend our borders and stay prepared to support local, state and federal organizations as they respond to natural or manmade disasters and continue to support the buildup of forces here on Guam.
Additionally, Hoog acknowledged the support the local community provides to Team Andersen Air Force Base (AFB).
“We have to continue to maintain the support from the local communities,” Hoog said. “I have rarely seen support as solid and as enthusiastic for the installations as I have seen here in the Pacific. Specifically with Chamorros, they are great supporters of the mission at Andersen and across the entire island.”
Hoog noted that the Airmen of today are the future of tomorrow’s Air Force, and that it’s the supervisors’ responsibility to assist Airmen by keeping them informed about self-improvement and educational programs made available to them.
“Bloom where you’re planted,” Hoog said as a word of advice to Airmen. “A number of Airmen believe it’s the next assignment that’s going to be the one for them. The goal is to do the best with what you have where you are.
“Excellence isn’t an on or off switch; you can’t flip it on and say, ‘Today I’m going to be excellent.’ It has to be a habit. You build the habit pattern and you bloom where you’re planted.”