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AFSOC commander visits 137th SOW

Chief Master Sgt. Brian A. Brindle, 137th Special Operations Wing command chief master sergeant, welcomes U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Hurlburt Field, Fla., to Will Rogers Air National Guard Base (WRANGB) in Oklahoma City, March 7, 2020. Slife and Command Chief Master Sgt. Cory M. Olson, AFSOC command chief master sergeant, visited WRANGB for an immersion visit that included a base tour and seeing firsthand the contributions that the 137th SOW makes to the special operations community. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Andrew M. LaMoreaux)

Chief Master Sgt. Brian A. Brindle, 137th Special Operations Wing command chief master sergeant, welcomes U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Hurlburt Field, Fla., to Will Rogers Air National Guard Base (WRANGB) in Oklahoma City, March 7, 2020. Slife and Command Chief Master Sgt. Cory M. Olson, AFSOC command chief master sergeant, visited WRANGB for an immersion visit that included a base tour and seeing firsthand the contributions that the 137th SOW makes to the special operations community. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Andrew M. LaMoreaux)

Installation Squadron (205th EIS), delicately splice fiber cable while being observed by U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife (standing second from right), commander of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), and Command Chief Master Sgt. Cory M. Olson, AFSOC command chief master sergeant (standing left), during an immersion tour of the 137th Special Operations Wing at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base (WRANGB) in Oklahoma City, March 7, 2020. The 205th EIS is a tenant unit at Will Rogers and provides infrastructure support to the Wing while also fulfilling worldwide taskings and deployments. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Andrew M. LaMoreaux)

Staff Sgt. Michael L. Tabaka (seated left) and Airman 1st Class Binh N. Pham (seated right), both cyber transport system specialists assigned to the 205th Engineering and Installation Squadron (205th EIS), delicately splice fiber cable while being observed by U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife (standing second from right), commander of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), and Command Chief Master Sgt. Cory M. Olson, AFSOC command chief master sergeant (standing left), during an immersion tour of the 137th Special Operations Wing at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base (WRANGB) in Oklahoma City, March 7, 2020. The 205th EIS is a tenant unit at Will Rogers and provides infrastructure support to the Wing while also fulfilling worldwide taskings and deployments. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Andrew M. LaMoreaux)

Military officials from U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command walk through the 146th Air Support Operations Squadron motor pool while taking part in an immersion tour of the 137th Special Operations Wing (137th SOW) at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, March 7, 2020. The two-day immersion not only included a tour of base and face-to-face meetings with commanders and Airmen, but also a survey of available land and acreage. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Kasey M. Phipps)

Military officials from U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command walk through the 146th Air Support Operations Squadron motor pool while taking part in an immersion tour of the 137th Special Operations Wing (137th SOW) at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, March 7, 2020. The two-day immersion not only included a tour of base and face-to-face meetings with commanders and Airmen, but also a survey of available land and acreage. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Kasey M. Phipps)

Col. Scott Townsend (left), 205th Engineering and Installation Squadron (205th EIS) commander, speaks to U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife (right), commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla., about an innovation of 205th Airmen during an immersion tour of the 137th Special Operations Wing at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, March 7, 2020. Several 205th EIS Airmen developed and designed the Cyber Training Retention Operations Network, which is a comprehensive and cost-effective program that provides hands-on training in place of simulations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Kasey M. Phipps)

Col. Scott Townsend (left), 205th Engineering and Installation Squadron (205th EIS) commander, speaks to U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife (right), commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla., about an innovation of 205th Airmen during an immersion tour of the 137th Special Operations Wing at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City, March 7, 2020. Several 205th EIS Airmen developed and designed the Cyber Training Retention Operations Network, which is a comprehensive and cost-effective program that provides hands-on training in place of simulations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Kasey M. Phipps)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife (right), commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, reaches to shake hands with Chief Master Sergeant Alquintin Steele (left), traffic management adviser for the 137th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron (137th SOLRS), during an immersion tour of the 137th Special Operations Wing on March 7, 2020, at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma City. The 137th SOLRS completed 111 tractor-trailer convoys to Minneapolis, New Mexio, Kansas, Louisiana, and Texas for a total of 87,000 miles in support of operational training and named exercises around the U.S. to support the squadrons on base in fulfilling their missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife (right), commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, reaches to shake hands with Chief Master Sergeant Alquintin Steele (left), traffic management adviser for the 137th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron (137th SOLRS), during an immersion tour of the 137th Special Operations Wing on March 7, 2020, at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Oklahoma City. The 137th SOLRS completed 111 tractor-trailer convoys to Minneapolis, New Mexio, Kansas, Louisiana, and Texas for a total of 87,000 miles in support of operational training and named exercises around the U.S. to support the squadrons on base in fulfilling their missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla. --

The 137th Special Operations Wing (137th SOW) hosted U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), and other AFSOC officials in Oklahoma City, March 7-8, 2020.

The leaders visited for a weekend of immersion in the dynamics of the wing.

The 137th SOW is one of only two Air National Guard wings within AFSOC, which creates both benefits and challenges when looking to increase Guard operations within active duty AFSOC.

“I think the key is in leveraging the strengths of the Guard, which are stability, an experienced workforce, maturity and continuity,” said Slife. “You also have strong local and political support. All of these things are inherent to what the Guard is, and we should find a way to leverage those and look for missions that align with that.”

The immersion weekend was Slife’s first visit to Will Rogers Air National Guard Base (WRANGB) since assuming command of AFSOC in June and included AFSOC Command Chief Master Sgt. Cory Olson. The visit began with the attendance of an Oklahoma Star of Valor Ceremony for a WRANGB Airman. From there, Col. Daniel Fowler and Col. Rick Mutchler, 137th SOW commander and vice commander respectively, introduced the contingent to commanders and subject matter experts during a base-wide tour.

“Our commanders and Airmen were able to speak with Gen. Slife and Chief Olson face-to-face about the capabilities, resources and expertise we offer,” said Fowler. “The visit dramatically increased the situational awareness that AFSOC leadership has of our wing, the contributions we make, and our position in their command.” 

The tour covered a substantial portion of the base’s more than 153 acres, including not only visits to the squadrons, but also the technologies, school houses and training programs developed at WRANGB.

With changes at a national level in mindset and technology, particularly within an emerging peer-to-peer warfare environment, the 137th SOW’s innovation, developmental potential and continuity of experience makes the wing and its members more adaptable as they continue to evolve and find their place within the future of the AFSOC war fighting community.

“In my 30 years of experience, the people don't have to go find the mission; the mission will find the right people,” said Slife. “When you're good at what you do, when you have a good organizational culture, when you have a can-do attitude about things – the mission always tends to gravitate to those people. All those things are hard to find in one place, but the easy thing is to put a mission here. So I'm very optimistic about the future of the wing.”