The Delaware National Guard hosted the 20th Annual Senior Leaders Conference on Jan. 12 at Appoquinimink High School Auditorium in Middletown.

Leadership from the Delaware Air and Army National Guard gathered for a time to network with peers from across the state, share successes and make plans for the future.

In addition to DNG leadership, Gov. John Carney, along with Delaware’s Congressional Delegate members, attended and showed their support.

“I am humbled by the sacrifices that you make for our state and our country,” said Carney speaking to the DNG Guardsmen in the audience. “The demands on each of you are greater than they’ve ever been before, and so let me salute all of you for the work that you do.”

“Your service speaks volumes about your citizenship and the nation that hopes to be worthy of your service,” said Sen. Chris Coons. “Thank you.”

Select community leaders from throughout Delaware were also present to support the hometown military and be inducted into the Honorary Commander Program.

The program gives the DNG one-on-one opportunities to inform and educate local community leaders about the mission of the National Guard and foster supportive relationships between the organizations.

Brig. Gen. Mike Berry, special assistant to the adjutant general, welcomed the new honorary commanders and explained the importance of the National Guard, local community relationship.

“The Delaware National Guard, and the National Guard as a whole, is the connection between the military and our communities,” said Berry. “It really does pay huge dividends in creating that bond, because our communities are made up of family members, friends and our coworkers who also put on their uniform on weekends, and go on deployments. That connection is vital, and it keeps our country grounded.”

After the closing remarks, the Army and Air National Guard attended separate breakout sessions with their respective service to discuss topics specific to their branch of service.

During the Delaware Air National Guard break out session, 166th AW leadership discussed the importance of communication, providing opportunities to both officer and enlisted personnel, improving processes for current and future Airmen and building leaders.

“I think we have one of, if not the best, leadership teams this wing has ever seen,” said Col. Lynn K. Robinson Jr., 166th AW commander. “We talk about things, we socialize, we disagree about things, we come together on things, and we make decisions based on this wing’s needs.”