Hearing Our Airmen: Command Chief of the Air National Guard Visited the 171st Air Refueling Wing Published June 16, 2022 By Capt. Jodi Snyder 171st Air Refueling Wing Coraopolis, Pa -- The 171st Air Refueling Wing received a visit from Chief Master Sgt. Maurice Williams, the command chief of the Air National Guard, on June 11, 2022. Williams is visiting Air National Guard bases across the country. His goal is to ensure the enlisted ranks have direct access to higher leadership. This is his 44th wing visit, so far. “I want to help develop our Airmen. I want to be able to provide the director of the Air National Guard a pulse of each organization and make sure that the policies we develop for the force are beneficial for Airmen,” said Williams. As Williams visits each base, he gains an understanding of what Airmen need. He looks for common themes, which allows him to provide recommendations about his observations to other agencies for improvement. “One of the most important things I’ve learned is that we need to improve our Airmen’s understanding of our competition and adversaries. That’s going to make them more effective in feeling empowered to complete their jobs,” said Williams. Another important focus when visiting different bases is helping Airmen understand what resources they can access. “In different environments, you need to operate differently, so you need to know what is available to you to be effective,” said Williams. During his trips, Williams visits and speaks with Airmen of all ranks, but he prioritizes the junior enlisted force. “I always visit the junior enlisted counsels. You get the unfiltered (information) and that allows me to feel the pulse of what is happening,” said Williams. While the primary purpose of his visits is to give a voice to the enlisted, he also uses his time to mentor younger Airmen. “The best I advice I can give is… invest in yourself, monitor the circle of people around you, and embrace life’s journey,” said Williams. Along with motivating Airmen to develop professionally, Williams also encourages Airmen to gain different perspectives to enhance themselves. “Get outside of your comfort zone. This will help make a better version of you. The better you are, the better you are for your organization,” said Williams. Overall, the thirteenth command chief master sergeant of the Air National Guard wants Airmen to learn, develop and grow. “Things won’t go as you plan, but if you invest in yourself and have a strong circle, challenges won’t be a roadblock, they’ll just be a bump in the road,” said Williams.