Commander shows off Team March at Capitol Hill

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

Col. Russell A. Muncy, commander, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, visited with seven lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday to discuss base mission priorities and to communicate the important impact our active duty, Guard and Reserve members make in support of national defense.

During a meeting with Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Mark Takano’s delegations Muncy spoke of how the 163rd Attack Wing, formerly the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing, provided unprecedented support to incident commanders of CAL FIRE by allowing access to 24/7 real-time video from their MQ-1 Predator to help battle the Rim Fire in Yosemite National Park, Calif.

Muncy also explained some of the important military construction projects that would add base capability and create efficiencies, such as the new Joint Regional Deployment Processing and Cargo Facility, a fire station at the north end of the base to respond to emergencies faster and the potential movement of existing mission partners such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Air and Marine Operations Center’s investigations unit inside the base perimeter.

During each of the congressional visits, Muncy articulated the cost-effective capability citizen Airmen provide to mission sets while also advocating the priorities of base tenant partners.

The program that enabled these meetings to occur is known as the Air Force Reserve Capitol Hill Visit program. The AFRCHV program provides an annual opportunity for wing commanders to discuss base-level issues and opportunities in person with members of Congress, and to advocate top priorities of the Air Force Reserve Command.

“It’s one of the most impactful ways we engage with [Capitol Hill],” said Lt. Col. Will Vaughn (left), legislative liaison officer, Policy Integration AF/REI at the Pentagon, District of Columbia.

The AF/REI staff has more than 100 individual directorates, from planners to programmers, who help support the program so wing commanders may have annual access to tell the Air Force Reserve story.

The list of congressional offices Muncy visited, in order of first visited include:

Rep. Mark Takano – District 41

Sen. Barbara Boxer

Rep. Norma Torres – District 35

Rep. Ken Calvert – District 42

Rep. Darrell Issa – District 49

Sen. Feinstein

Rep. Raul Ruiz – District 36