Several Retired Twentieth Air Force Commanders Receive Updates, Provide Leadership Lessons

  • Published
  • By Dr. Jeremy Prichard
  • 20th Air Force Historian

On 23 January 2020, four former Twentieth Air Force commanders joined current commander Maj. Gen. Fred Stoss for a Commander’s Roundtable. Held in the recently-dedicated Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Neary Conference Room—himself a former commander—this marked the largest ever official gathering of Twentieth Air Force commanders. Combined, those present amassed 166 years of service to the U.S. Air Force, much of that time with the ICBM mission and various levels of command.

The four retired generals in attendance were Maj. Gen. (ret.) Timothy J. McMahon, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Roger W. Burg, Maj. Gen. (ret.) C. Donald Alston, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Michael J. Carey.

During the morning session, Gen. Stoss provided the visitors an update on the state of the command. He and his staff briefed a range of topics related to the ICBM mission, including operations, maintenance, security, nuclear surety, leadership challenges, cultural and organizational changes, and more. Those present also received information on future developments to include Air Force Global Strike Command’s (AFGSC) recent acquisition of the MH-139 “Grey Wolf” helicopter.

After lunch, Gen. Stoss opened up the venue for discussion, hoping to absorb some of the collective wisdom from individuals who’ve previously occupied his seat. “These awesome former commanders, along with my other predecessors who were unable to attend, made foundational decisions that positively shaped the ICBM mission,” said Gen. Stoss.  “I’m humbled by their willingness to return to Twentieth Air Force to ask thoughtful questions and share their insights on the future of our vital mission.  Their enthusiasm and dedication to this command and ICBMs is just as strong as the day they relinquished command.”

Rather than a one-time affair, Gen. Stoss envisioned holding similar gatherings annually for former retired commanders eager to remain engaged with the command while maintaining lines of mentorship for future Twentieth Air Force commanders.