JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) --
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody arrived here Aug. 18 on the first leg of a tour to various locations within the Pacific area of responsibility, held Aug. 18 to 31.
In addition to meeting with Airmen and Department of Defense leaders throughout the region, Welsh and Cody will meet with counterpart and government officials in Japan and South Korea, as well as elected and civic leaders in Alaska.
Welsh's first visit to the region as Air Force chief of staff provides the opportunity to visit Airmen and to see firsthand the Air Force's unique challenges and opportunities in the Asia-Pacific theater.
"The U.S. Air Force's presence and capabilities are an invaluable part of the DOD's rebalance to the Pacific," Welsh said. "Chief Cody and I look forward to meeting with our partners, but more importantly, to taking a closer look at how to best prepare and care for America's Airmen and their families across the Pacific, and thanking them for their tremendous dedication to the mission."
The Pacific Air Forces currently hosts more than 43,000 Airmen at nine major air bases. Approximately 60 percent of the Air Force's permanent forces outside the continental United States are stationed in the Asia-Pacific.