ACC commander speaks to 552nd Air Control Wing Airmen

Gen. William M. Fraser III, commander of Air Combat Command, answers a question from Airman 1st Class Jonathan Wilson, 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, as Col. Patricia Hoffman, 552nd ACW commander; Command Chief Master Sgt. Scott Magoon; and 552nd AMXS first sergeant, Master Sgt. Brian Brewer look on. (Air Force photo by Dave Faytinger)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Gen. William M. Fraser III, commander of Air Combat Command, answers a question from Airman 1st Class Jonathan Wilson, 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, as Col. Patricia Hoffman, 552nd ACW commander; Chief Master Sgt. Scott Magoon, 552nd command chief; and Master Sgt. Brian Brewer, 552nd AMXS first sergeant, look on. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dave Faytinger)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Gen. William M. Fraser III spoke about the importance of dedicated, resilient and innovative Airmen during an April 29 "all call." Held in Hangar 230, Dock 2, the commander of Air Combat Command wrapped up his two-day trip by addressing the 552nd Air Control Wing's Airmen.

The general spoke about the 552nd ACW mission and the Air Force's limited resources. He also addressed the need for Airmen to take care of one another and live by the Air Force core values.

"We have to rely on you, our innovative Airmen coming along now - your ingenuity is making us better," General Fraser said. "We have to continue to be a learning organization. We require you to be creative and up-channel those great ideas on how we can be more effective in today's fight."

The general also spoke about how the Air Force has changed since he entered in 1974. As the Air Force progresses and changes, it is up to Airmen, of all ranks, to actively brainstorm new ways to use what we have not only for today but for tomorrow.

"We have to maintain a sense of balance in our lives - physically, spiritually, mentally and socially," General Fraser said. "Maintaining that balance means we need to be able to fight today's fight, but we cannot allow our skill sets to atrophy so that we can't fight the big fight, should it come. Our brothers and sisters in the other services are all counting on us to maintain air dominance and do what we do best as Airmen. You're a critical component."

To combat limited resources, the general said the Air Force is studying methods to best utilize what it has. One way is to upgrade the E-3, which is vital to the ACC mission in U.S. Central Command and U.S. Southern Command.

General Fraser visited the workforce that will perform those upgrades on the E-3. The Block 40/45 modification project set to begin in November is a $2.9-billion initiative to upgrade computer systems, ground systems and infrastructure throughout the entire E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System fleet.

"The control and reporting centers are in the same situation. Radars are getting old and we have plans to modernize the radar as we look forward to the future," the general said. "Our challenge is going to be making sure we have the necessary resources."