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Joint Chiefs chairman visits Buckley Guardsmen

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff conducted a Town Hall meeting with members of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard Monday, 26 April 2010.  During the meeting, members of the Air National Guard posed questions concerning the future of the Guard.  Picture here, LtCol Gina Simonson poses a question asking if there were any plans to include Title 32 members in the post 9/11 G.I. Bill.  (U.S. Air Force Photo/SMSgt John Rohrer) ( RELEASED)

Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conducted a Town Hall meeting with members of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, April 26. During the meeting, members of the Air National Guard posed questions concerning the future of the Guard. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer)

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff conducted a Town Hall meeting with members of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard Monday, 26 April 2010.  During the meeting, members of the Air National Guard posed questions concerning the future of the Guard.  Picture here, Admiral meets members of the 140th Wing and presents MSgt Gregory Elrod, 140th Security Forces Squadron, and others with a coin as a token of his appreciation for their service.  (U.S. Air Force Photo/SMSgt John Rohrer) ( RELEASED)

Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conducted a Town Hall meeting with members of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, April 26. During the meeting, members of the Air National Guard posed questions concerning the future of the Guard. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer)

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conducted a Town Hall meeting with members of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard Monday.  During the meeting, members posed questions concerning the future of the Guard.  Picture here, Lt. Col. Timothy Conklin, 140th Operations Support Squadron Commander, greets Admiral Mullen prior to the Town Halll meeting. (U.S. Air Force Photo/SMSgt John Rohrer) (RELEASED)

Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conducted a Town Hall meeting with members of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, April 26. During the meeting, members of the Air National Guard posed questions concerning the future of the Guard. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conducted a Town Hall meeting with members of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, April 26.

Admiral Mullen is the highest-ranking officer in the U.S. Armed Forces and the President's principle military advisor. He also advises the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.

"Our Wing is honored that our Chairman took the time to thank us and answer our questions. For many, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I feel like he gave us a good sight picture on what the future of the military may look like," said Brig. Gen. Trulan Eyre, 140th Wing commander.

Many of the questions during the Town Hall focused on the rapidly aging fleet of F-16s in the Air National Guard and its future missions.

"Although Admiral Mullen's experiences in the Navy are different from ours, I felt that he understood what our future needs are and that essentially it's a question that will have to be answered within the next year or so," said Lt. Col. William Orton, 140th Operations Support Squadron director of operations.

Admiral Mullen also discussed the future of the Armed Forces, the challenges ahead and how the Armed Forces will continue to grow. "We live in a time of extraordinary change," said Mullen.

Mullen discussed how each military service has become "much more joint, much more dependent on each other, much more transparent and collaborate in ways we could not have imagined a few years ago." He spoke about the skills that will be needed for tomorrow and how the Armed Forces will be operating in places we have not anticipated.
Admiral Mullen specifically addressed the mid-level non-commission officers and the company grade officers in the Town Hall.

"I depend on each and every one of you for leadership," said Mullen. "Leaders step up to make a difference and leading in a time of change is difficult, and yet the most exciting kind of leadership. I am betting on you," he added.

Admiral Mullen thanked members of the 140th Wing for their service and the opportunity to spend time with them before his departure.

"We could not have been successful in Iraq and could not be succeeding in having the positive kinds of outcomes we are starting to see in Afghanistan. In these wars, and in cyber and in defending our homeland, we can't succeed without the National Guard. It is dramatically different from what it was pre-911 and I commend the leadership and the people in the National Guard. They are such a vital part of our military and our National Defense. It is such a privilege to be here and to know how much they and their families have contributed," said Mullen.
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