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ACC leadership visits MHAFB

U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, fires a GAU-5 during a shoot, move, communicate course March 27, 2019, at the gun-range on Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The GAU-5 is a semi-automatic stand-off rifle that pilots carry with their ejection survival packs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, fires a GAU-5 during a shoot, move, communicate course March 27, 2019, at the gun-range on Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The GAU-5 is a semi-automatic stand-off rifle that pilots carry with their ejection survival packs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, meets Airmen during a shoot, move, communicate course March 27, 2019, at the gun-range on Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.  Holmes met with several squadrons within the wing to discuss innovative ideas from Gunfighters and the importance of the base-wide reorganization plan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, meets Airmen during a shoot, move, communicate course March 27, 2019, at the gun-range on Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Holmes met with several squadrons within the wing to discuss innovative ideas from Gunfighters and the importance of the base-wide reorganization plan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, plays a guitar at the Airmen's Center, March 27, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Holmes visited the Airmen’s Center to discuss the morale and welfare of Airmen on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, plays a guitar at the Airmen's Center, March 27, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Holmes visited the Airmen’s Center to discuss the morale and welfare of Airmen on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class JaNae Capuno)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Frank Batten, ACC command chief, take a group photo with leadership from the 428th Fighter Squadron, March 27, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The 428th Fighter Squadron are members from Peace Carvin V of the Republic of Singapore Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tyrell Hall)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Frank Batten, ACC command chief, take a group photo with leadership from the 428th Fighter Squadron, March 27, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The 428th Fighter Squadron are members from Peace Carvin V of the Republic of Singapore Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tyrell Hall)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jay Labrum, 266th Range Squadron commander, talks to U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, about the jamming equipment that the squadron’s Cowboy Control division uses, March 27, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Holmes visited MHAFB to view the innovative projects of squadrons on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tyrell Hall)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jay Labrum, 266th Range Squadron commander, talks to U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, about the jamming equipment that the squadron’s Cowboy Control division uses, March 27, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Holmes visited MHAFB to view the innovative projects of squadrons on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tyrell Hall)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Frank Batten, ACC command chief, visited here March 26-27, 2019.

The ACC leadership team met with several squadrons within the wing to discuss innovative ideas from Gunfighters and the importance of the base-wide reorganization plan.

“It's important for squadron commanders to build cultures that stress innovation,” Holmes said. “We’re squared off in battle with really tough people that are really talented, so we can't just rest on our laurels. We can't keep doing things the same way we'd been doing. We’re in a race against people that are talented and strong and wish to do us harm, and we need to get the best ideas we can get from every Airman. We're going to have to change how we grow to compete with our adversaries.”

A way to bridge innovative ideas to growth is re-structuring how squadrons function. [KDRTUAAP1] Before the change, squadrons were placed into groups, and the group commanders would make big decisions. Now, squadron commanders have more power to lead by making those decisions.

“Part of the thing we looked for in the re-org was to empower squadron commanders,” Holmes said. “When I talk to your wing commander and squadron leadership, the simple fact that they don't have a group commander to go to with every issue means that they have to make more choices, they have to make more decisions and they have to rely on what they learned so far.”

Holmes said he believes that squadron commanders within the wing will be able to take on more responsibility and realize that they’re capable and know what to do in most scenarios.

“I found as I've grown up in the Air Force, every new job I went in to I wasn't sure if I was prepared for it,” Holmes said. “But when a situation came up and I had to make a decision, I usually knew what to do.”

Overall, Holmes appreciated his visit to Gunfighter country and seeing Airmen develop innovative ways to enhance readiness.

“I would like to thank the Gunfighters; we try experiments with you because we know you won't fail,” Holmes said. “I'm proud of the innovation that you’re showing and of the wing’s emphasis on trust to achieve your wing’s goals. I learn a lot when I’m here, and I’m proud of the way that you ride hard, shoot straight, and always speak the truth.”

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