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Leading 20th Air Force – command team way forward

Maj. Gen. Michael J. Lutton poses in front of a former 20th Air Force commander wall at the 20th Air Force headquarters, 10 July 2020, F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. Lutton took command of 20th Air Force 8 July 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt Ieva Bytautaite)

Maj. Gen. Michael J. Lutton poses in front of a former 20th Air Force commander wall at the 20th Air Force headquarters, 10 July 2020, F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. Lutton took command of 20th Air Force 8 July 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt Ieva Bytautaite)

F. E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --

The Sentinel Warriors of 20th Air Force are now led by Maj. Gen. Mike Lutton, commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Charles Orf, command chief. Lutton has been in the commander’s seat for almost a week, but he already has a clear mission, vision and priorities for the Sentinel Warriors.

The 20th Air Force team must provide combat-ready forces, given the global security environment.  They are a part of the joint force prepared to win, and will continue to grow lethality and innovate to provide military options to ensure our nation always meets the global security environment from a position of strength.

The mission of 20th Air Force is to defend the United States with combat ready nuclear forces; on order, conduct global strike.  Our priorities are building integrated lethality; developing and caring for Airmen and families; and leading nuclear surety and weapon system safety.  Our vision statement is simple and powerful - we are the world’s most respected and feared global strike team, always ready to strike.

Having a clear vision for the future from the commander helps Airmen achieve goals and responsibilities of ensuring a lethal, safe and secure force.

Q. The new mission statement says: defend the United States with combat ready nuclear forces; on order, conduct global strike. How can Airmen at all levels ensure they remain combat ready?

A.  Combat ready is a function of experience and proficiency.  Leadership at all levels must continually assess flight, squadron, group, and wing readiness as well as experience and proficiency.  Then mentor, coach, teach, and prepare Airmen for the assigned missions.  By forecasting opportunities to grow readiness, leaders at all levels continue to develop their Airmen by providing opportunities to not only develop but grow experience and proficiency.

Q. The new vision statement, the world’s most respected and feared global strike team, always ready to strike, also focuses on readiness. Can you explain why it is important for 20th Air Force to work together as a cohesive team?

A.  Teams are more lethal and effective than individuals.  Being a part of the joint force is a team effort.  Team cohesion starts with an understanding of what each individual teammate brings to the fight.  Integration combines multiple disciplines across various teams to create lethal military units able to achieve our most challenging military objectives.  Lastly, teamwork is predicated on respect for what each member brings to the fight.  Each team member is valued and contributes to the mission.

Q. The command’s priorities, build integrated lethality, develop and care for Airmen and families, and lead nuclear surety and weapon system safety focus on mission, the development of Airmen and their families, and nuclear surety. What does developing Airmen and families look like?

A.  Developing Airmen and families remains fundamental to the success of our Air Force and military.  Developing Airmen is about taking the time to understand the unique perspectives of each Airmen.  It is important for leaders to understand their goals and take the time to ensure Airmen have a plan to meet their goals.  Then, leaders need to mentor, coach, and support Airmen along the way. Developing Airmen isn’t a task to accomplish.  It is a fundamental responsibility of all leaders.

Families, as noted above, remain fundamental to the success of our Air Force and military.  We must ensure world-class support for our families as well as a world-class community on and off-base.  This all starts with how our families are welcomed to Air Force Global Strike Command and our bases.  Our military-community partnership is also key to ensuring success in this area.

Q. As you look forward to leading the Sentinel Warriors, what are you most excited about?

A.  I am most excited to be back in Air Force Global Strike Command and humbled to be able to serve our Airmen and families!