Commander highlights Team March impact at Capitol Hill

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Russell S. McMillan
  • 452nd AMW Public Affairs

The 452nd Air Mobility Wing’s current and future commanders met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday to advocate Team March mission priorities and communicate the significant impact the active duty, Guard and Reserve members make in support of national defense.


During a meeting with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Ken Calvert’s and other congressional delegations, Brig. Gen. Russell A. Muncy, commander, 452nd AMW, March Air Reserve Base, along with incoming wing commander, Col. Matthew J. Burger, chief of programs and requirements division, Office of Air Force Reserve at the Pentagon, District of Columbia, touted the recent 163rd Attack Wing’s smooth arrival of six MQ-9 Reapers from the Southern California Logistics Center (former George Air Force Base) in Victorville to March ARB. The ability to house and fly the remotely piloted aircraft from March ARB meant more time dedicated to missions, training and producing pilots.


Muncy and Burger also highlighted the progress of military construction projects such as the recently opened Joint Deployment Processing Center, current and future increases in base tenancy, the estimated $579 million economic impact March ARB provides to the Inland Southern California region annually, and the base’s upcoming centennial in April 2018.


During each of the congressional visits, Muncy and Burger communicated the cost-effective capability citizen airmen provide to mission sets while also advocating the priorities for March ARB tenant partners.


The program that enabled these meetings to occur is called the Air Force Reserve Capitol Hill Visit program. The AFRCHV program provides access for wing commanders to discuss base-level issues and opportunities in person with members of Congress on an annual basis, and to advocate top priorities of the Air Force Reserve Command.


“It puts a face to the name locally when meeting the congressional delegation,” said Maj. Joy L. Atkins, individual mobilization augmentee to the director, Reserve Policy Integration AF/REI at the Pentagon, District of Columbia. “It shows [you’re] not just a base on the map, that you’re family members and constituents.”


The AF/REI staff has over 100 individual directorates, from planners to programmers, including approximately one dozen staff located at the Pentagon that directly support and engage with wing commanders and congressional offices.


The list of congressional offices in order of first visited include:


Sen. Dianne Feinstein – California

Rep. Pete Aguilar – District 31

Rep. Duncan Hunter – District 50

Rep. Ken Calvert – District 42