Brigadier Gen. David Weishaar, commander of the Kansas Air National Guard, recently toured Tinker Air Force Base after being named the Air National Guard Assistant to the Air Force Sustainment Center Commander.
In this position, Weishaar will ensure guard equities are intertwined with AFSC goals while providing input and insight to the AFSC commander on where process improvements can be made, as well as how the guard can provide assistance in certain areas such as supply chain management.
“One of the main reasons for this position was to provide more of a strategic overview to Gen. Kirkland. Not to say that the Chief or Col. level is not strategic, but they’re very involved in tactical day-to-day activities and I’m more removed from that so I can, in theory, think out of the weeds,” Weishaar said. “If you’re amongst the trees you can’t see the forest, so I’m not amongst the trees to help see the forest and the whole enterprise level of how we take care of weapons systems.”
Tinker has seen some changes since Weishaar’s last visit 20 years ago and he said that the expansiveness of the facilities is unbelievable.
“I got the opportunity to see building 9001, the whole KC-46 expansion area, B-21 expansion area…Tinker’s definitely not space constrained so that’s what I find the most interesting as far as the physical layout,” Weishaar said. “There’s building upon building that wasn’t here 20 years ago, and some of the facilities that were here weren’t utilized by the government.”
As impressive as the expansiveness of Tinker’s facilities, is its civilian workforce.
“There are brilliant engineers and brilliant minds that are employed throughout the complex,” Weishaar said. “These are true patriots helping us take care of the weapons system that’s supporting our nation. It’s hard work every day of the week and they’re doing it very professionally. We could not do the mission without them and I hope they understand that.”
“We don’t tell people ‘thanks’ enough for what they do. Does every civilian here, it doesn’t matter what their role is, understand what significant role they play in our nation’s defense? That’s the message we need to get back to the workforce here.”
Weishaar will have teams located at the AFSC here at Tinker, Hill AFB and Warner-Robins AFB to provide support to the general to make decisions.
“Our role as part of the guard team here is, how we better the enterprise level. Aircraft and weapons systems are just like uniforms. It all says U.S. Air Force on there. It doesn’t say U.S Air National Guard it doesn’t say U.S. Air Force Reserves and it’s the same with our airplanes,” Weishaar said. “We have to approach it all at the enterprise level, they’re all part of the Air Force and we’re all here to be part of the giant team of making the best product we can.”