News: COMACC visits Shaw, answers questions about future for 20th FW airmen
Story by Airman 1st Class Nicole Keim
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. - U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command, and his wife Kathy toured the 20th Fighter Wing to visit airmen and get a first-hand look at mission capabilities here May 31.
While visiting, Hostage served as the presiding officer for the 9th Air Force change of command ceremony, where Maj. Gen. Lawrence Wells relinquished command to Maj. Gen. H. D. Polumbo, Jr.
Afterwards, the general held a 20th FW enlisted call, where he spoke about budget concerns due to sequestration and its effect on combat readiness in ACC and across the Air Force.
According to Hostage, due to sequestration, ACC is accepting significant risks to the readiness of combat air forces in order to fulfill must-do missions.
However, Hostage explained the cuts will not be affecting the preparedness of his Airmen.
"It is my commitment to the American public, that I won't send you to war unless you're properly trained and equipped to go," Hostage said. "That's my job."
He also answered questions about the uncertainty regarding recently reinstated tuition assistance and the downsizing of the force. Hostage explained the Air Force does not plan to cut tuition assistance in the near future, which was a concern among Airmen in attendance.
"It was nice to hear the ACC commander's perspective of where he sees the command and the Air Force going in the next fiscal year during these tough times for the Air Force and the country," said Senior Airman Kevin Seney, 20th Fighter Wing Staff Agency comptroller.
After the enlisted call, Hostage visited the 20th Operations Group commanded by Col. Shaun McGrath for a briefing concerning Shaw's 84 F-16 Fighting Falcons.
In the evening, Hostage and his wife attended a civic leader dinner at Sumter City Center where Hostage was able to speak with Sumter, S.C., county officials.