12AF (AFSOUTH) hosts 2008 Total Force Commanders Conference, recognizes Airmen Published March 19, 2008 By Tech. Sgt. Kerry Jackson 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) DAVIS MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- More than 50 civic leaders, commanders, and command chiefs were here March 10 -- 14 to participate in the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Total Force Commander's Conference and the 2008 Outstanding Performer of the Year banquet. The annual events are an opportunity for 12th AF (AFSOUTH) senior leaders to discuss a range of issues affecting the command and the Air Force, as-well-as, a well deserved recognition ceremony honoring the command's most outstanding personnel. "This event, which has proven successful year-after-year, gives our 12th AF Total Force commanders and command chiefs an opportunity to discuss issues directly affecting the mission and our Airmen," said Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, Commander, 12th (AFSOUTH). "We also gather to recognize the accomplishments of our outstanding performers -- the Airmen and civilians who make 12th Air Force the premier organization it is today; as well as bring our civic leaders from across the NAF together for updates on key 12th Air Force issues." The topics discussed during the Total Force conference included the Air Force's role in fighting the Global War on Terror, and how the Air Force has re-organized its forces to better meet the needs of Combatant Commanders. Senior leaders also discussed efforts to recapitalize Air Force inventory; were updated on how the current Air Expeditionary Force construct is meeting operational needs across the spectrum of Air Force operations, as well as, briefed on current manning challenges across the Total Force. "Total Force Integration capitalizes on the inherent strengths of the different Air Force components," said General Seip. "The Air Force team of Active Duty Airmen, Air National Guardsmen and Air Force Reservists provide the Joint Force with highly skilled, experienced and dedicated Airmen prepared to accomplish any mission. Total Force Integration enhances our combat and joint enabling capabilities today and well into the future." Twelfth Air Force (AFSOUTH), which recently re-designated several of its units during a ceremony in February, comprises seven active-duty wings, 14 Air Reserve and Guard units, and three direct reporting units in the western and midwestern United States. The command is also responsible for five forward operating locations, and civil and military engagements in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. During the Outstanding Performer of the Year ceremony, the command awarded nine Airmen and civilians with the 2008 Outstanding Performer of the Year award. The Airman, non-commissioned officer, senior NCO and First Sergeant category winners will go on to compete for Air Force-level annual awards. Recipients of the 2008 Outstanding Performer of the Year award include: Airman Category Airman 1st Class Barrie L. Forte, 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home AFB, Utah Noncommissioned Officer Category Tech. Sgt. Earl I. Covel, Jr., 1st Air Support Operations Group, Fort Lewis, Wash. Senior Noncommissioned Officer Category Master Sgt. Brian E. Wilchenski, 1st Air Support Operations Group, Fort Lewis, Wash. First Sergeant Category Master Sgt. Dwayne D. Ward, 3rd Combat Communications Group, Tinker AFB, Okla. Company Grade Officer Category Capt. Edward F. Dice, Jr., 820th Red Horse Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev. Field Grade Officer Category Maj. Travis G. Howell, 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, N.M. Senior Civilian Category Mr. Timothy R. Shawver, 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home AFB, Utah Intermediate Civilian Category Mr. John E. Badjar, 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, N.M. Junior Civilian Category Mr. Alan J. Weiler, 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas.