Clarke Becomes Air National Guard Director

Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke last week formally became Air National Guard director during a ceremony at JB Andrews, Md.. He replaced Lt. Gen. Bud Wyatt who retired earlier this year after more than 40 years in uniform. “This is quite an honor and I am humbled at the opportunity to serve,” said Clarke at the March 22 ceremony. “I’ve arrived in a time of budget turmoil and uncertainty, but I view this as a time of opportunity as well,” he added. Clarke comes to the leadership role after having commanded the Continental US NORAD Region-1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) at Tyndall AFB, Fla., since August 2011. “My commitment to you and the adjutants general is clear,” he said to the assembled Air Guardsmen. “We will do everything within our authority to ensure our airmen have clear policies, equipment, training, and resources to accomplish assigned missions” and that “we remain community-based, team-oriented, and experienced.” Clarke last week told a congressional oversight panel that he had three immediate priorities: to minimize the “dramatic toll” that budget cutbacks are taking on the Air Guard’s readiness and people; to work with the two other Air Force components to achieve an appropriate balance of forces; and to ensure all three Air Force components are “modernized concurrently” so they remain relevant and interoperable.