• Published
  • By Airman First Class Jeanette Castaneda
  • 144th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The men and women of the 144th Fighter Wing (144th FW), California Air National Guard (ANG), Fresno, Calif. had the honor of a visit from General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr., commander, Northern American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), on January 5, 2012.

As Airmen stood in formation outside the wing's maintenance hangar, Gen. Jacoby spoke about the future of the 144th FW, the ANG's role in military defense, and the future of the U.S. military. The general was very supportive of the California ANG's mission and went on to express his trust in the 144th FW.

"A unit isn't judged by how many challenges it has, it is judged by how they respond to those challenges," Gen. Jacoby said. "The 144th FW has responded to their challenges magnificently."

The general again expressed his trust and gratitude towards the role of Air Power.
"This unit isn't just iron sitting on a ramp, it is much more. The capabilities of the 144th include Aerospace Control for NORAD, reconnaissance assets, chemical and biological attack response as a contributor to DSCA, and more," said Gen. Jacoby. "This team brings huge capabilities for the defense of America at home and abroad ... we depend on you, and you always deliver."

The general answered some questions from the Airmen about the military and homeland security. Gen. Jacoby explained that each Airman needs to have trust in their leadership and chain of command, be accountable for their actions, and respect the mission.

The general shared his keys to success and his leadership path with the Airmen of the 144th FW. When asked what he considers the secret of his success, the general said, "I don't shy away from hard jobs. I've had the privilege of working on solid teams and I have learned how to be a follower on the way to becoming a leader." He summed it up with four key points; discipline, accountability, team work, and respect. The general expressed that he feels privileged to still be in uniform and serving his country.

The general toured the base, met with young Airmen for lunch, and received an orientation in an F-16 simulator. He capped off his visit with a backseat ride in an F-16, flown by Lt Col Michael Reilly, 194th Fighter Squadron. "We flew as part of a Western Area Defense (WADS) FELIX KEYNOTE 12-451 exercise and we got to enforce temporary flight restrictions and intercept a general aviation aircraft," said Lt Col Reilly.

"Overall, the sortie showed the general our targeting pod operations, and low slow visual identification and intercept procedures. In the end, we were able to show Gen. Jacoby the actual fighter operations of the alert mission of the 144th FW," concluded Lt Col Reilly.