Vance's drive for excellence demonstrated for 19th Air Force command team

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  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Maj. Gen. Phillip Stewart, 19th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Justin Apticar, 19th AF command chief, visited Vance Air Force Base, Feb. 8-10, 2023.

This was Stewart and Apticar’s first visit to the 71st Flying Training Wing, and Team Vance demonstrated the base’s mission, its close ties to the community of Enid, Oklahoma, and how the installation’s culture drives excellence.

"19th Air Force has empowered Vance to be at the forefront of modernizing pilot training, from the use of immersive technology and student-centric learning to our rollout of the Air Mobility Fundamentals-Simulator syllabus and training curriculum," said Col. Jay Johnson, 71st FTW commander.

As part of their immersion, Stewart and Apticar visited with squadron and flight commanders, senior enlisted leaders and first sergeants from across the installation. They toured the 71st Medical Group, the Comprehensive Readiness for Aircrew Flight Training facility and the Air Force’s AMF-Simulator site.

"This is one of the wings that we know is just getting after things,” said Apticar. “We've had the pleasure of seeing great things and innovation at every stop." 

They also interacted with community leaders at Enid Woodring Regional Airport, often touted as Vance’s fourth runway. The city-owned airport will be a vital component to Vance’s continued pilot production when the base’s center runway is updated this year.

"The relationships formed between our Airmen and the fantastic community of Enid America was impressive,” said Stewart. “Enid has not only strengthened its ties with the Air Force but has also built a strong and supportive community that truly embodies the spirit of teamwork and progress."

Senior leaders of Stewart and Apticar’s caliber interacting with local community leaders showcased the importance of the long-term relationship between downtown and the base.

The Vance Spouse Space and newly opened Airmen’s Lounge was on the itinerary to show Stewart and Apticar how Vance’s mission priority of “Demonstrating Our Culture” led to direct action to fill gaps identified at remote and isolated locations.

When asked at the wing all-call what their favorite part of the visit had been, Stewart said that the culture evident on the base and the ties with the community were noteworthy.

Stewart closed the visit by challenging Vance Airmen. "I would ask Airmen to keep in mind my three leadership principles that I've always valued: respect, enforcement of standards and accomplish the mission."