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SecAF visits JB Langley Eustis, discusses readiness, retention

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va . (AFNS) -- Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson visited Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Aug. 3, 2017, where she met with Gen. Mike Holmes, the commander of Air Combat Command, and visited the 1st Fighter Wing and 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing.

"We must restore the readiness of the force," said Wilson. "The men and women at Langley Air Force Base are critical to maintaining and improving our lethality in the air."

During her trip, Wilson met with three groups of pilots to learn more about retention, one of the keys to readiness.

Wilson said readiness starts with Airmen.

"We need to be able to win any fight, any time," she said. "Readiness isn't about our ability to go to war, but how many Airmen will come home because we have prepared them to win."

Langley AFB is home to the Air Force's largest operational F-22 unit, the 1st FW. During her visit, Wilson spoke directly to pilots to get a better sense of why retention has become a major issue.

"I want to know what we can do better to revitalize squadrons as the core fighting unit in our Air Force," she said.