NEWS | Oct. 2, 2020

15th Wing Hosts Pacific Air Forces Commander

By 2nd Lt. Amber Kelly-Herard 15th Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii— -- The Sky Warriors welcomed Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, and his wife, Cindy Wilsbach, with much aloha Sept. 28.

The 15th Wing plays a strategic role in enhancing PACAF’s mission to ensure regional stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

“It was a great visit seeing the Sky Warriors here at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and seeing first-hand their contributions to the Pacific Air Forces mission,” said the Gen. Wilsbach. “Although we share the same real estate, it was a good opportunity to get an in-depth view the 15th Wing plays in providing trained and ready Airmen to support PACAF and U.S. INDO-PACOM while serving as a strategic hub to project airpower across the region.”

The first stop of the day highlighted a top PACAF and 15th Wing priority—innovation. Gen. Wilsbach witnessed the Aloha Spark Innovation Lab and the base’s software experts, TRON. He later met with the medical innovation appendage: MEDWERX.

“This is the start to the future of how we operate,” said Maj. Michael Zelinksi, 15th Wing Innovation chief. “TRON turned what used to take three to five years into a matter of months.”

Gen. Wilsbach met with JBPHH leadership and security and engineering experts to gain a better understanding of how the base is kept safe and functional, while also preserving the national historic landmarks.

In lieu of the traditional all-call, Gen. Wilsbach, Col. Daniel Dobbels, 15th Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Sheronne King, PACAF first sergeant, recorded a message for all 15th Wing Airmen to view while mitigating the spread of the virus.

The 15th Wing Ohana shares a strong partnership with the Hawaii Air National Guard 154th Wing; therefore, the JBPHH tour wouldn’t be complete without visiting the HIANG’s F-22 Raptors.

Other stops included the 15th Maintenance, Operations, and Medical groups to observe how the 15th Wing maintains ready to safeguard a free and open Indo-Pacific.

During Mrs. Wilsbach’s visit, accompanied by Lisa Dobbels and Shannon Koehler, spouses of the 15th Wing commander and command chief respectively, she learned about the Airman’s Attic and Thrift Shop, Hickam schools and childcare centers, the 15th Medical Group, and JBPHH housing.

During a lunch with spouses, Mrs. Wilsbach presented Spouse Volunteer Awards to Lexi Brown and Caroline McGrath for their leadership and forward-thinking, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I thank Col Dobbels and his team for hosting Cindy and me on an outstanding visit, and we look forward to our next engagement with the Sky Warriors,” said Gen. Wilsbach.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this visit was slightly different with social distancing and face masks enforced, but there was no shortage of shakas, and what sets the 15th Wing apart from any other Air Force base, the aloha spirit.