Col. William H. Mott addresses the audience during the 37th Training Wing change of command ceremony July 24, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Colonel Mott graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1985 and has served in a variety of positions including instructor pilot, flight examiner, weapons officer, operations officer, squadron commander, and group commander prior to becoming the commander of the 37th TRW. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robbin Cresswell)
Maj. Gen. Alfred Flowers, 2nd Air Force commander, hands over command of the 37th Training Wing to Col. William H. Mott at a change of command ceremony July 24 at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robbin Cresswell)
LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas —
His first full day on the job was busy and rather unique - checking IDs at three gates, visiting with most everyone in the 37th Training Wing headquarters building, attending meetings and asking and answering a lot of questions.
Reflecting on the hectic schedule near the end of the day, Col. William H. Mott V, the new 37th TRW commander, summed it up with three words: "It's been fun."
"What makes it fun is that I know what Lackland does but everything seems new," he said while sitting in front of several boxes still waiting to be unpacked another day.
"When I get down to details, and every time I have a conversation with someone, it just leads to more questions. I toured the whole building (wing headquarters) and went to every office. It's fun just trying to figure it out. It's new and it's amazing, the diversity of what happens on this base."
Colonel Mott, who succeeds Brig. Gen. Len Patrick, assumed command of the 37th TRW July 24 and arrives here from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., where he served as commander of the 325th Operations Group.
A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colonel Mott has served as an instructor pilot, flight examiner, weapons officer, operations officer, squadron commander and deputy group commander. He is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours in the F-15 and 200 hours in the Air Force's newest fighter, the F-22 Raptor.
In taking charge of the largest training wing in the Air Force, Colonel Mott has a vision of what he wants the command to accomplish.
"My vision statement for the 37th TRW is to shape the Air Force with warrior Airmen of character," he said. "You accomplish it by realizing that what you do every day is going to actually change the Air Force.
"When you realize the impact and magnitude of what you're doing at Lackland, it makes you approach the job a little differently. That's what I hope the power of the vision statement is going to be," he added.
Colonel Mott went on to explain that the way a base runs is a function of the Airmen, and of the values and attitudes that are developed during basic military training and technical school training.
He said it's important to recognize all Airmen as warriors since BMT was expanded to 8.5 weeks and the Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training course was implemented to power a warrior attitude.
Adding that character is a key element in a person's makeup, he believes developing character begins on the first day of training.
"It makes a difference in how people approach their job and approach their family," said the colonel. "I think there's a great opportunity for the 37th TRW and that's what my vision statement hopefully communicates."
He spent time Monday checking IDs at both Gateway gates and the Airmen's Gate, getting a grasp for the diversified base population while also seeing firsthand the enormous amount of vehicles that enter and exit every day with a workforce that app-roaches 50,000.
"I ran into international officers, Soldiers, Sailors, tons of Airmen, civilians and contractors," said Colonel Mott. "You get to see who's coming on base and it served two purposes - I got to see and talk to people, and they got to see that there's a new commander."
Relating his experience at the gates not only accounted for his enthusiasm, but also revealed how he felt about his new assignment.
"I'm thrilled to be here," he said.