NEWINGTON, N.H. – Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Senior Enlisted Advisor Tony Whitehead visited the Granite State to meet with Guard leaders and discuss strategic initiatives May 2-3.
Adjutants general from 11 states convened at Pease Air National Guard Base in Newington. Such meetings, known as “TAG huddles,” are conducted regionally throughout the year.
“Thanks for the opportunity to come up here and visit,” Hokanson said. “It’s a wonderful organization you have here.”
The highlight of the general’s stay was a coining ceremony for 12 NHNG Soldiers and Airmen.
Among them were Spc. Liam MacVittie, a cannon crewmember who helped rescue a woman from a house fire last winter; Sgt. Patrick McCormack, a supply NCO who recently graduated from Ranger School; and Tech. Sgt. Ryan Sheehan, a power production craftsman who volunteers at a food pantry.
“These people right here, they’re making a difference not just here but in every aspect of their lives,” Hokanson said.
The huddle was also an opportunity for the 157th Air Refueling Wing to feature the KC-46A refueler.
Hokanson took his first guided tour and viewed simulators used to train pilots and aircrews. Pease was the first Air National Guard base to field the next-generation tanker, replacing its aging fleet of KC-135s.
“It’s a highly capable aircraft, and I think he saw that based on this tour today,” said Maj. David Whitney, a pilot who briefed the general on the refueler’s capabilities and led a viewing of the cockpit.
Hokanson also met with New Hampshire Army and Air Guard recruiters and representatives from family services to discuss their current challenges.
“It’s been an exceptional visit,” said host Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities, New Hampshire adjutant general. “We showed off the KC-46 refueler and the capabilities and capacity of both our Army and Air National Guards.”
“It’s been a wonderful visit,” he said. “It’s a great state.”