Air Force's top enlisted leader visits Spangdahlem AB
By Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 27, 2013
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- The Air Force's top enlisted leader visited here March 25-26.
As part of the tour, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody met with leaders of Spangdahlem Air Base's private organizations, held an Airmen's call and took briefings about fighter wing operations.
First, he had lunch with the private organization representatives and where he learned about how these groups affect Airmen and their families.
"This is a family business," Cody said. "If we don't focus on our Airmen, their families and their ability to serve their U.S. Air Force and our nation anywhere we ask them to, we are going to miss the foundation of what gives us everything that we need to be able to do, and that is the support and the strength that we gain from each other."
The small meeting was a chance for Airmen of all ranks to discuss the many inner workings of the base and its organizations on a more personal level.
"You always see those people of such high rank on (American Forces Network) commercials, or in magazines," said Airman 1st Class Keith Washington, the president of the First Four organization here. "But seeing them work hands on and correlating with you face-to-face -- that is a wonderful experience."
During the Airmen's call, more than 2,000 Airmen gathered to hear Cody speak on a variety of key Air Force issues.
Cody spoke on topics such as tuition assistance, the effects of sequestration on force readiness and the balance Airmen must make between home life and work. Cody said things may be more difficult for Airmen in the days ahead when second- and third-order effects of sequestration appear.
"The amount of time and resources we put into the deliberate development of our Airmen is the most important thing we will do over these next few years," Cody said. "When you talk about the combining of education, training and experience and how we deliberately go about doing that, that is what gives us the distinct advantage as the world's greatest air force."
After the Airmen's call, members of the 52nd Fighter Wing briefed Cody on daily operations. Before concluding his stay, Cody met with a group of Air Force level award winners and outstanding performers nominated by their leaders for recognition.
"The service and sacrifice these Airmen make is appreciated by their nation, by their Air Force and their Air Force leadership," Cody said. "I would ask them to keep working hard, keep doing what they are doing for their nation, but take care of each other. Take care of their families, find and work on striking that right work-life balance.
"Our greatest strength is in our people," Cody said. "If our people are taking care of each other, and we are treating each other with dignity and respect, we create trust. Through that, we are able to accomplish anything."