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Commander of 19th Air Force visits JBSA

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, followed closely behind by Chief Master Sgt. Robert Boyer the 19th Air Force command chief, stop by the 149th Fighter Wing’s Operations Group, Dec. 10, during his visit to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Boyer accompanied the general on his site visit to the wing. During the visit, both Air Force leaders, toured several units and reacquainted themselves with the people and mission of the 149th FW.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, followed closely behind by Chief Master Sgt. Robert Boyer the 19th Air Force command chief, stop by the 149th Fighter Wing’s Operations Group, Dec. 10, during his visit to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Boyer accompanied the general on his site visit to the wing. During the visit, both Air Force leaders, toured several units and reacquainted themselves with the people and mission of the 149th FW.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, watches members of the 149th Fighter Wing’s aircrew flight equipment section demonstrate the capabilities of helmet mounted with integrated targeting technology during his visit, Dec. 10, to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, watches members of the 149th Fighter Wing’s aircrew flight equipment section demonstrate the capabilities of helmet mounted with integrated targeting technology during his visit, Dec. 10, to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, listens to Senior Master Sgt. Toby Henderson, the munitions flight chief for the 149th Fighter Wing, talk about location limitations during his visit Dec. 10 to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The general took time to stop by several base units and listen to various members brief the commander about their work section.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, listens to the munitions flight chief for the 149th Fighter Wing, talk about location limitations during his visit Dec. 10 to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The general took time to stop by several base units and listen to various members brief the commander about their work section.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, talks to Tech. Sgt. Kevin Fairman, a member of the 149th Fighter Wing, after an all call held Dec. 10 in a maintenance hangar at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, talks to Tech. Sgt. Kevin Fairman, a member of the 149th Fighter Wing, after an all call, held Dec. 10, in a maintenance hangar at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Tech. Sgt. Louis Soriano, a member of the 149th Operations Group, shows Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, the capabilities of a pilot's helmet mounted with integrated targeting technology at the aircrew flight equipment section during the general's visit to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Dec. 10.

Tech. Sgt. Louis Soriano, a member of the 149th Operations Group, shows Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, the capabilities of a pilot's helmet mounted with integrated targeting technology at the aircrew flight equipment section during the general's visit to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Dec. 10.

Tech. Sgt. Kevin Fairman, a member of the 149th Fighter Wing, puts away a two-star command flag after an all call held Dec 10 in a maintenance hangar at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Tech. Sgt. Kevin Fairman, a member of the 149th Fighter Wing, puts away a two-star command flag after an all call, held Dec 10, in a maintenance hangar at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, talks to Col. Bradly Glenn, Air National Guard advisor to Air Education Training Command, and Senior Master Sgt. Toby Henderson, the 149th Fighter Wing’s munitions flight chief, Dec. 10, during his visit to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, talks to Col. Bradly Glenn, Air National Guard advisor to Air Education Training Command, and Senior Master Sgt. Toby Henderson, the 149th Fighter Wing’s munitions flight chief, Dec. 10, during his visit to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Robert Boyer, 19th Air Force command chief, tour the munitions storage area, Dec. 10, during their visit to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Boyer accompanied the general on his site visit to the wing. During the visit, both Air Force leaders, toured several units and reacquainted themselves with the people and mission of the 149th FW.

Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Robert Boyer, 19th Air Force command chief, tour the munitions storage area, Dec. 10, during their visit to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Boyer accompanied the general on his site visit to the wing. During the visit, both Air Force leaders, toured several units and reacquainted themselves with the people and mission of the 149th FW.

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - LACKLAND, Texas -- Maj. Gen. James Hecker, 19th Air Force commander, visited Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Dec. 10, to observe the people and progress of the 149th Fighter Wing.

The 149th FW was number 17 of 19 visits on the general's schedule before the close of the year.

During his visit, Hecker held an all call where he addressed the members of the wing and praised them for the work they're doing to support the F-16 mission.

"We couldn't produce the number of fighter pilots we produce without you," Hecker said. He recognized the diversity and varied skills that Air National Guard members bring to the fight, but also challenged them on suicide prevention.

Suicides in the Total Force, including civilians, climbed from 85 in 2014 to 105 in 2015.

"The best leadership advice I've ever gotten is to treat them like your son or daughter...or like your brother or sister," Hecker said.  He explained that by treating people in this way, you'll always have someone's best interest at heart, especially in regards to correction, thereby fostering a more respectful and understanding work climate.

The 19th Air Force commander also didn't shy away from other real issues facing the force today, namely, sexual assault, substance abuse and child predators.

"The people who do this won't listen to what I'm saying, but I'm talking to the 99.9 percent of people who don't do this," Hecker said. "If you witness this, have the moral courage to step in and do something about it because it's cancer to our Air Force."

After Hecker's presentation, wing members had the opportunity to ask questions that ranged from transgender issues to the recent terrorist attacks.

Hecker's advice on the latter was to stay especially alert to your surroundings.

"What we can't do is let them win," he said. "If we hide away in our house and never go out, we let them win. Be vigilant. Don't be scared, but just know your surroundings. Be your own guard for you and your family."

The general concluded saying that the airmen he visits regularly are among the finest, and the active duty force recognize the Guardsmen's superior performance out in the field and the skills they bring to the table.