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NEWS | Sept. 19, 2023

Sixteenth Air Force deputy commander celebrates the Air Force’s 76th birthday with Texas A&M JROTC

By Matthew McGovern Sixteenth Air Force Public Affairs

Major Gen. Thomas K. Hensley, Sixteenth Air Force deputy commander, spoke at Texas A&M University’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Air Force birthday celebration Sept. 15.

During the festivities, Hensley discussed how, as future Air Force officers, they have a unique opportunity to accelerate change.

“As I look at a crowd of future Air Force officers, I want you to know we need you,” Hensley said. “We need your bright, intelligent, and creative minds to help us continue the hallmark of ingenuity, innovation, and adaptation to harness technology and accelerate change.”

Hensley touched on the topic of ‘how to be successful’ by referencing Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown Jr.’s strategic approach, entitled “Accelerate Change or Lose,” published in 2020.

“The premise is simple, but it’s gravely important,” Hensley said. “Past success is no guarantee of future performance, and we have a window of opportunity to posture ourselves for success.

“Gen. Brown used a quote from Giulio Douhet to reinforce this concept. ‘Victory smiles upon those who anticipate the change in the character of war, not upon those who wait to adapt themselves after the changes occur,’’’ Hensley added.

As an independent service in 1947, the Air Force has consistently been a beacon of innovation, Hensley explained.

“In our 76 years of existence Airmen have always been known for their ingenuity in the development and employment of technology … and then taking that technology and being innovative and adaptive with it,” said Hensley. “Those are the hallmarks of being an Airman.”

“It’s certainly an honor and a privilege to be back at Aggieland … talking to cadets … as we celebrate the Air Force’s 76th birthday!”