20 AF holds first-ever virtual Reserve Training Assembly

  • Published
  • By Capt. Ieva Bytautaite
  • 20th Air Force Public Affairs

20th Air Force held a first-ever virtual Reserve Training Assembly (RTA) 5-6 Dec., 2020. 

RTAs are common in the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) reserve force. They are typically a 2-3 day event during which IMA reservists gather to complete annual training, hear senior leaders discuss the mission and force development, and network. This year, Maj. Gen. Mike Lutton, 20th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Charles Orf, 20 AF command chief, joined the virtual engagement for some opening remarks.

“This is the first RTA I have attended in my 29 years of service,” said Lutton. “I am honored to be a small part of this virtual gathering and I hope you all know that you play an important role in our mission readiness and lethality.”

Lutton and Orf spoke to the attendees about various topics, including the command’s modernization efforts and what role 20 AF reservists will play in bringing these system online, empowering Airmen at all levels, and ways to better bridge the gap between the active duty and reserve components.

“When you look at the scale and scope of what we are doing with GBSD, it’s inspiring and I am so excited,” said Lutton.

The RTA planned for spring 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic, so the organizers, Col. Anthony Angello, Mobilization Assistant to the 20 AF commander, and Lt. Col. Conn McKelvey, 20 AF Deputy Chief, Nuclear Operations, had to get creative. Holding the RTA virtually allowed the reservists to participate from wherever they were located.

“RTAs are key to maintaining morale among the members, networking for future opportunities and finding mentors who can guide us through the unique challenges of serving as an IMA,” said McKelvey.

Over 35 reserve Airmen, from a variety of AFSCs, attended the RTA. Overall, the event was a success and offered the Airmen a time for mentorship, training and an opportunity to be on duty despite not being able to physical travel to their assigned units.

“It’s been highlighted in the pandemic how important this mission is and I am proud to serve with you all,” said Orf.