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Gen Clark, 548 ISRG Airmen talk diversity, leading the fight

Gen Clark, 548 ISRG Airmen talk diversity, leading the fight

Airmen from the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group gather to discuss racial diversity with Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, at Beale Air Force Base, California, June 12, 2020. Clark hosted a virtual meeting to address current events and answer questions from Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Crampton)

Gen Clark, 548 ISRG Airmen talk diversity, leading the fight

Airmen from the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group listen to opening remarks on racial diversity in a virtual meeting with Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, at Beale Air Force Base, California, June 12, 2020. Clark shared his personal experiences with racial inequality over the course of his career to help demonstrate the wide reaching effects of the problem being faced by the Air Force, and the country as a whole. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Crampton)

Gen Clark, 548 ISRG Airmen talk diversity, leading the fight

Col. Andrew Souza, commander of the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, listens with his Airmen as Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, speaks about current events with Group members at Beale Air Force Base, California, June 12, 2020. Clark spoke at length about current events and what to expect from the Air Force moving forward. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Crampton)

Gen Clark, 548 ISRG Airmen talk diversity, leading the fight

Airmen from the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group gather to speak to Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, June 12, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. Clark sat down and spoke to the airmen across the group and answered multiple questions about current world situations and racial diversity in the military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Danielle McBride)

Gen Clark, 548 ISRG Airmen talk diversity, leading the fight

Lt. Col. Brad Bemish, commander of the 9th Intelligence Squadron, sits with Airmen from the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group during a conference call June 12, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. Bemish and the Airmen listen in while Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, speaks to them on racial diversity in and out of the military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Danielle McBride)

Gen Clark, 548 ISRG Airmen talk diversity, leading the fight

2nd Lt. Isaiah Brown, a coordinator for the virtual town hall, listens to Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, speak about current world issues June 12, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. Clark spoke to Airmen across the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group about racial diversity in and out of the military and shares his personal experiences. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Danielle McBride)

Gen Clark, 548 ISRG Airmen talk diversity, leading the fight

Maj. Sarah E. Avila, a member of the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group Airman Resiliency Team, asks Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, a question during a virtual town hall meeting June 12, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. Clark answered many Airmen’s questions and shared his own views and personal experiences during the meeting. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Danielle McBride)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Following the lead of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and senior leaders to keep an open dialogue on race relations, Airmen from the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group spoke with Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration on a video call June 12.

Clark brings more than 34 years of commitment to service, excellence and leadership. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1986 and oversaw five different operations throughout his career.

1st Lt. Randall Abella and 2nd Lt. Isaiah Brown, both with the 9th Intelligence Squadron here, coordinated this event with the intent to establish an inclusive forum for Airmen to hold difficult conversations about race and diversity.

“Our senior leaders have offered their thoughts and perspective and the message is clear, diversity in the Air Force is what makes us strong,” Brown said.

The diverseness of the military and recent events have reminded Airmen of the challenges that are still facing the Air Force. During the conversation, Clark shared personal anecdotes and answered questions. Clark encouraged Airmen within the 548 ISRG to create environments that facilitate understanding each other.

“It doesn’t matter what race or religion you are, we can’t take these problems on as individuals,” said Clark. “It has to be a consolidated effort.”

Airmen of Distributed Ground Station-2 have the unique opportunity to lead from the front and continue the conversation of diversity and inclusion in our Air Force.

“I think that we can have these discussions without bringing politics into it,” Clark said when asked about the military’s stance on having political conversations in the workplace. “This is not about politics, it’s about how we treat each other.”

Clark closed by ensuring Airmen that the only way to find solutions to the problems we as an Air Force face today is together. He said, “We have a long way to go but we need to lead the fight.”