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CSAF visits Guam, thanks Airmen who provide Pacific airpower

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFNS) -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and wife, Betty, thanked Airmen and discussed the importance of their mission in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region during a visit here Jan. 21.

At an all call, Welsh spoke about Air Force matters and shared personal stories about himself and his service.

“I’m really proud to be an Airman and am really proud of the Airman I grew up with … my dad,” Welsh said. “He is just one of many who made the Air Force such a huge success story. It is not because of airplanes or technology, but because of (the Airmen). Every now and then take a step back and pat yourself on the back.”

Welsh also discussed budget changes, future of benefits, readiness, and the modernization of the force.

“I’m not worried about the last 50 years; I’m worried about the next 50 years. Hanging on to things that made us great will not make us great in the future,” Welsh said. “We have got to modernize … air forces that do not stay in front of technology fail.”

Welsh assured the Airmen in attendance he continuously fights for their best interests. As the budget and benefits are being worked and discussed by Congress, the chief of staff constantly works to defend Airmen and their ability to complete the mission.

“When the nation calls, we send you, and if you are not ready to go, we have an issue,” Welsh said. “We will continue to fund training, education and professional development, so that you are ready, willing and able to do your jobs.”

After the all call, Welsh opened the floor to questions, and spoke about helping Airmen and morale, by doing what he can to alleviate long hours and ensure a healthy work-life balance.

He emphasized how important everyone is to the fight and how it is impossible to fly, fight and win without Airmen.

“Airmen here live in a place that proves geography matters,” Welsh said. “Thank you for the way you represent the Air Force, the way you serve our nation and the way you take care of each other and your families. Never forget how critically important each and every one of you are to the mission.”