Commander talks Niagara on Capitol Hill

Col. Brian S. Bowman, commander, 914th Airlift Wing, meets with Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter on March 15, 2016 during the Air Force Reserve Commanders’ Capitol Hill Visit Program. The program is designed to build long-term, face-to-face relationships with members of Congress and their staffs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Paul DeLano)

Col. Brian S. Bowman, commander, 914th Airlift Wing, meets with Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter on March 15, 2016 during the Air Force Reserve Commanders’ Capitol Hill Visit Program. The program is designed to build long-term, face-to-face relationships with members of Congress and their staffs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Paul DeLano)

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. -- Col. Brian S. Bowman, commander, 914th Airlift Wing, met with members of Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

Chief Master Sgt. Clinton J. Ronan, Command Chief of the 914th AW and Senior Airman Darian Baines, material management journeyman, 914th Logistics Readiness Squadron, accompanied Bowman on the trip. The visit was part of the Air Force Reserve Commanders' Capitol Hill Visit Program which is designed to build long-term, face-to-face relationships with members of Congress and their staffs.

"More than 75% of the men and women assigned to the 914th are represented by the Senators and Congressmen that we've met with," Bowman said. "It's important for my members to know that their voices are being heard and they are being taken care of."

The program also serves as an opportunity to discuss U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve issues affecting Western New York and the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Although this was an eventful experience, it gave Bowman and the group the opportunity to talk to several high-ranking government officials.

Bowman, Ronan, and Baines met with Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Congressman Chris Collins, Congressman Brian Higgins and Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. With many key decision makers all in one room, the experience was exciting for the youngest member of this trip, Senior Airman Baines.

"It was an excellent experience," said Baines, of her first visit to the District of Columbia. "It was interesting to see what happens behind the curtains. I'm looking forward to seeing what the outcome will be."

"In an ever-changing climate, working side by side with our representatives has never been more important," said Bowman. "The relationships that we are continuing to foster will ensure a current, qualified, and mission-ready Air Force."