Top AF leaders visit Kandahar Airfield

  • Published
  • By Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
  • 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody visited Airmen here Feb. 4 to thank them for their service and to discuss their priorities for the Air Force.

Welsh and Cody, along with other Air Force senior leaders from the Pentagon and Air Forces Central Command, were hosted at Kandahar Airfield by Brig. Gen. John Dolan, the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing and KAF commander.

"We just want you to know that we're proud of you," Welsh told Airmen during an Airman's Call. "We want you to know that you make us look good each and every day, so thank you for that. More importantly, you make the nation look good every day. That's what's really important about what you're doing."

Welsh, who assumed the role as the Air Force's top officer in August 2012, said he has three focus areas for the service: win the fight, strengthen the team and shape the future.

"You guys are involved in the first one every day right now," he said. "And all of you strengthen the team, whether it's your squadron team, your patrol team, your family team, the joint team or the coalition team. Finally, shaping the future is important for us. If we don't shape it, someone will shape it for us."

The traits that will help the Air Force in these areas, he said, are common sense, communication and caring about each other.

Cody, who in January became the 17th chief master sergeant of the Air Force, added that Airmen must treat each other with dignity and respect.

"Fundamental to who we are is how we treat each other," he said. "Respect fosters trust, and when we trust each other, we do just what you do out here in the (area of responsibility) --we accomplish anything we set our minds to do."

After the Airman's Call, Welsh and Cody met with Airmen at several stops at Kandahar Airfield, including the 777th Expeditionary Prime BEEF Squadron, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Tactical Air Control Party and the 451st Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron.

They also visited the 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, a unit on Kandahar Airfiled, which is responsible for training, mentoring and advising the Afghan Air Force.

"Thanks for everything you do," the general said at the Airman's Call. "Thanks for making us proud to come to work every day. It is such a privilege to stand beside you guys."