57th Wing commander returns to his roots

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ryan Whitney
  • Nellis Public Affairs
The 57th Wing welcomed their new commander, who is returning to the base where he started his career in the Air Force nearly thirty years ago.

"My family and I are thrilled to be back, and I am honored to have been chosen to lead the 57th Wing," Brig. Gen. Stephen Hoog, the new 57th Wing commander said. This is the general's fourth time being stationed at Nellis.

General Hoog, who was the director, Air Component Coordination Element, Multi-National Force-Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq, assumed command July 31st from Brig. Gen. William Rew.

The 57th Wing is the largest composite wing in the Air Force and has changed a lot since the general was last here in 1990 where he served as an F-16 instructor and academic department head at the Fighter Weapons Instructor Course, and even more since his days as a young lieutenant in the 430th Tactical Fighter Squadron here in 1981.

From the reactivation of the aggressor squadron's to the upgrade of the Air to Ground Operations School to a full blown operational group, there has been a lot of changes, but the mission of the wing and the mindset of the general has not.

"The wing has kept the same mission over the years, and it is one that affects the mission of the entire Air Force, producing quality warfighters," said General Hoog. "I like that I am in a place where I can influence and do good things for the Air Force. This wing has left footprints across the Air Force through the Airmen we train here."

Although there have been many things to change in the Air Force since the general's commissioning in 1979, he believes that the things that have remained the same are the most important.

"The culture of the Air Force and the way things are run have changed, but I believe the values that this generation of Airmen have are the same as they were when I joined, they just have different names," the general said.

Of the core values, General Hoog believes that integrity is the cornerstone to developing leaders for future generations of Airmen.

"As long as the wing maintains its integrity, we will be able to successfully support the Airmen who are depending on the wing to get them the tools they need to achieve excellence in all they do," he continued.

Also helpful in achieving excellence is for Airmen to have a plan and a goal.

"There is no set course on how to be successful in the Air Force. Due to the multiple options the Air Force presents, there are infinite paths to get to the same position," he said. "If you go back and look at previous commanders, we all took different paths, but it's a team effort."

"The key is to focus on the mission while taking care of our Airman; you can't have one without the other and still consider yourself a success," He said, "Of course this is easier said than done with the current demands placed on our Air Force so it up to us, the 57th Team, to find a balance between taking care of our folks and accomplishing the mission. Everyone from one stripe to one star can have a huge impact in doing this."