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366th FW commander speaks with Airmen, discusses readiness

Col. Joe Kunkel, 366th Fighter Wing commander, talks about enhancing readiness during a commander’s call Jan. 26, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Kunkel outlined the wing’s priorities and how he plans to ensure the wing has a successful year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

Col. Joe Kunkel, 366th Fighter Wing commander, talks about enhancing readiness during a commander’s call Jan. 26, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Kunkel outlined the wing’s priorities and how he plans to ensure the wing has a successful year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

Col. Joe Kunkel, 366th Fighter Wing commander, answers an Airman’s question during a commander’s call Jan. 26, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Kunkel outlined the wing’s priorities and how he plans to ensure the wing has a successful year.

Col. Joe Kunkel, 366th Fighter Wing commander, answers an Airman’s question during a commander’s call Jan. 26, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Kunkel outlined the wing’s priorities and how he plans to ensure the wing has a successful year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Col. Joe Kunkel, 366th Fighter Wing commander, hosted his first commander’s call of 2018 outlining the wing’s priorities and how he plans to ensure the wing has a successful year.

“If we do these things; enhance readiness, build leaders, take care of Airmen and families and develop trust among mission-focused Airmen, we will get to the end goal- which is to be the nation’s premiere fighter wing,” Kunkel said.

The 366th Fighter Wing’s mission calls for enhanced training to advance its abilities and overall success.

“I want this wing to be the most lethal force that has ever existed,” Kunkel said. “That’s why enhancing readiness is our number one priority.”

Kunkel shared a story about two lieutenants in 1941 who saw more than 200 Japanese enemy aircraft flying toward Pearl Harbor. They took the initiative by calling their crew chiefs to set up their P-40 Warhawks and took off without instruction which resulted in six enemy aircraft takedowns.

“These guys didn’t have orders, they just went,” Kunkel said. “That’s the kind of initiative and leadership that we want to instill into every Gunfighter.”

Kunkel believes that helping Gunfighters and their families is vital to achieve retention rates of Airmen within the Air Force.

“Taking care of Airmen and families is the special sauce that makes the Air Force great and unique from any other organization in the entire world,” Kunkel said. “Many companies measure profit and loss in dollars, we measure profit and loss in Airmen. If we keep Airmen around by taking care of them and their families, we can earn profit and we maintain a solid fighting force.”

To make all of the priorities happen, Kunkel wants to develop trust between Gunfighters.

“If we build trust among Airmen by developing relationships and doing what we say we’re going to do, we are going to be more successful,” Kunkel said. “If you trust somebody, you will work harder for them.”

The commander’s call was considered a success by one Airman, who looks forward to what leadership has in-store for the future.

“I think what Col. Kunkel said was important,” said Airman 1st Class Hunter Evans, 366th Communications Squadron communications journeyman. “Knowing future plans and knowing what we need to do to be ready improves morale. I want to make sure I’m doing what I am supposed to be doing.”

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