Hanscom hosts first-ever command-wide DEIA symposium

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The Air Force Materiel Command Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Office held a command-wide symposium here May 2 through 5 to continue the progress made across the enterprise.

Keith Tickle, the command’s DEIA chief, spoke about the first-of-its-kind symposium.

“Bringing everyone together to level set and learn from one another is critical for us, especially as we build relationships within the DEIA team,” he said. “Our responsibility and goal is to remove barriers that impede access to opportunity so all compete on a level playing field.”

While speaking virtually from AFMC Headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to the more than 60 attendees, Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., commander of AFMC, called diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility “critical to our future.”

“Air Force Materiel Command is carrying the DEIA ball further than anyone else,” said Bunch. “Your efforts are laying the foundation and allowing us to move forward for the future. We need everyone performing at their full potential so that we can get the mission done.”

He challenged the team to continue building on the command’s progress.

“We need to have an environment where our Airmen believe senior leaders are going to take action if they bring a concern to them,” said Bunch. “, I want to see the momentum continue. I encourage you to continue to tell us those things that are working. Give us those good news stories so we can go out and show it.”

The four-day symposium touched on myriad topics and sessions with guest presenters to clarify roles and create a more open AFMC DEIA process.

The event included a question and answer session with Bill Snodgrass, director of AFMC Manpower, Personnel and Services, who spoke about the importance of showing value and earning trust.

“Not only is DEIA is a force multiplier, it’s something we must do to win our nation’s wars,” he said.

He encouraged attendees to continue to emphasize diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility across the enterprise to drive cultural change in the organization and in the Air Force.

The 66th Air Base Group DEIA Office here hosted the symposium.

“A lot of us have only recently completed building our teams,” said Steve Ober, Hanscom DEIA chief. “This has been the first opportunity to come together, meet one another and get some exceptional training. The networking is probably the most significant piece as we’re getting to meet our peers in person.”

To learn more about Air Force Materiel Command Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility efforts, visit https://www.afmc.af.mil/About-Us/Featured-Topics/Diversity/.