Air National Guard Director Rice makes historic visit to Iowa National Guard

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185 ARW Wing PA
For the first time in the unit's history a sitting director of the Air National Guard, Lt. Gen. Scott Rice, visited the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City, Iowa over the November 2016 training weekend.

The purpose of the visit is part of Rice's initiative to interact directly with Airman who live and work in the Western Iowa enclave.

"I'm trying to see two units each month, and go out and see what they do and where they operate," said Rice. "The 185th is one of our premiere tanker wings in the country and it is a great honor to come here with our senior enlisted Command Chief Anderson and visit the wing."

Rice assumed the duties as the Air National Guard Director this past May and is headquartered in the Pentagon in Washington D.C. where he oversees policies, plans and programs for all of the Air National Guard with units located in all 50 states, and U.S. territories.

During the historic visit to Sioux City, Rice met with members of 185th ARW Wing leadership, toured the facilities and participated in a Community College of the Air Force Graduation ceremony.

Rice also visited the Air National Guard's only paint facility which is co-located with the Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City.

Rice assured wing leadership that he would continue to pursue issues relating to readiness and modernization of the Air Guard.

The 185th has been flying the KC-135 mid-air refueling aircraft since 2002, which this year is commemorating 60 years of service as the primary mid-air refueling aircraft in the Air Force fleet.

As part of continued modernization throughout the Air Force and Air Guard, the aircraft assigned to Sioux City will begin the latest in a series of upgrades when their KC-135s begin the "Block 45" avionics upgrade starting next year.

The subject that garnered attention recently among National Guard members is the announcement by Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein concerning streamlining and reducing additional duties.

"Peoples time is not an unlimited resource and it's a thing you have to manage very purposefully and not abuse it," said Rice.

Rice visited the Iowa Air Guard unit in Sioux City for the day before traveling a short distance up the I-29 corridor to visit South Dakota's 114th Fighter Wing in Sioux Falls, SD the same day.

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