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New 82 TRW Commander shares priorities
Brig. Gen. Michael A. Fantini takes command of the 82nd Training Wing during a ceremony at the Sheppard parade field April 13. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Adawn Kelsey)
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New 82nd TRW Commander shares priorities

Posted 4/19/2012   Updated 4/19/2012 Email story   Print story


by Second Lieutenant Sara Harper
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

4/19/2012 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The priorities of the 82nd Training Wing's new commander are straightforward: prepare and train America's Airmen to fulfill their combat missions and create a sense of pride in the Air Force.

"My goal for the wing is to produce not only a fundamentally trained Airman, but an Airman that has a love, enthusiasm and a passion for the Air Force," said Brig. Gen. Michael A. Fantini. "Not only do we want to functionally train our people, but more importantly develop our professional Airmen so they can grow to become great noncommissioned officers, senior NCO's, junior officers and field grade officers."

The general wants to create an environment where people enjoy what they do, have a passion for their profession and are engaged in their career. In turn, he said, that will translate into professionals who want to work to execute any mission, it will reflect in their personal lives and ultimately it will keep our Airmen in the Air Force.

Fantini said he gets his energy from engaging with people and he plans to spend much of his time as commander doing just that.

"I am really looking forward to getting out into the training groups, to see firsthand what we teach, how it is being taught and what the students think about it," said the general. "Along the way I'm going to sit in class, climb poles, turn wrenches, eat in chow halls and really see what it takes to put combat air power to work.

"I also want to spend time in the mission support group and medical group so I can understand all they do to support both the technical training mission and the flying mission at the 80th Flying Training Wing."

Fantini has spent most of his 25 years in the Air Force in the operational world, including time down range in support of Operations Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The general's combat experience has shown him the importance and value of well-developed training and how it is inextricably tied to the success of the combat mission.

General Fantini illustrated the importance of training by relating it to the "kill chain" process used by our Air Force to engage targets - Find, Fix, Track, Target, Engage, Assess.

"If any element of the kill chain breaks down, the mission fails - it all has to work seamlessly," he said. "What makes it work is not so much equipment or processes, but Airmen - well trained, well prepared Airmen. And ultimately what we do here is give Airmen the technical skills and the leadership skills they need to fulfill their role in combat--in the kill chain.

"If we don't build a solid core foundation of technical training then we can have all the airplanes and all the bombs we want, but if they don't fly right and if the munitions don't explode correctly then the mission fails and we haven't done our job. That's why we say, 'Combat Capability Starts Here.'"

Looking toward the future with the compliance inspection just around the corner, the general has expressed his complete trust in Team Sheppard.

"I have confidence in our wing leadership, our group leadership, our chiefs, first sergeants, military training leads and civilian leadership. I have absolute confidence that we are doing the right thing. We now need to take that and show the world that we are doing the best job that we can in the 82nd Training Wing."

The general recently left the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and is thrilled to be back in the 82nd Training Wing. He was a member of the 82nd Flying Training Wing at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona for his first assignment as an undergraduate pilot training student.

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