Reserve wing leader holds first commander’s call

Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th Rescue Wing commander, speaks to Reserve Airmen during his first commander's call April 2, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Matthews took command of the Air Force Reserve's only combat search-and-rescue wing in December 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Trimarchi)

Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th Rescue Wing commander, speaks to Reserve Airmen during his first commander's call April 2, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Matthews took command of the Air Force Reserve's only combat search-and-rescue wing in December 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Trimarchi)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The new commander of the 920th Rescue Wing held his first commander’s call at 2:30 p.m. April 2 at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute on base.

Col. Kurt Matthews, who took command of the wing in December, spoke to Reserve Airmen about his expectations, the wing’s priorities, and the new vision and mission statements. He also presented meritorious service medals, wing annual and quarterly awards, and coins and certificates to outstanding performers from the wing’s recent inspection.

Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Bianchi, 920th RQW command chief, spoke about pride in the rescue mission and the importance of responsible use of social media.

Matthews announced that Bianchi will be retiring in August, and the new command chief will be Chief Master Sgt. Douglas Isaacks.

Matthews ended the commander’s call by showing the wing mission video to instill pride in the rescue mission and remind Airmen they are each an integral part of the wing’s success.

“You are part of something special,” Matthews told the wing. “You are part of the most noble mission in the Air Force. I want you all to be as proud of it as I am.”

Matthews plans to hold two commander’s calls each fiscal year: one in fall and one in spring. Airmen at the wing's three geographically separated units at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Portland Air National Guard Base, Oregon; and Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, will be able to view recordings of the commander's calls online.

The wing’s new mission statement is: “Rescue and recover personnel anytime, anywhere, with combat-ready Citizen Airmen.”

The new vision statement is: “Forging the world's greatest rescue force, fueled by honor, service and sacrifice.”

The wing’s priorities are executing the mission, leading people, improving the unit and managing resources.

The 920th RQW is Air Force Reserve Command's only combat search-and-rescue wing. It is headquartered at Patrick and comprises approximately 2,000 Airmen across four geographic locations.