CMSAF visits, tours Transit Center at Manas

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jerome C. Baysmore
  • 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force's top enlisted leader visited members of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing here June 11 during a Central Command area of responsibility tour.

During the visit, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy toured the Transit Center and spoke with Airmen during an "all hands" call.

One of the topics the chief addressed was his assessment of the current Air Force fitness program and how it comes into play in today's operations.

"We are absolutely on track and where we need to be today," Chief Roy said. "Our pass rate is much higher than we expected and over 50 percent of our Airmen are scoring 90 or better. We are getting fit.

"As I went to the fitness center this morning, I observed Airmen working out with Marines and Soldiers," he continued. "That's absolutely on target. In this deployed environment, if you're physically fit, your endurance is much greater than if you aren't. We need to be ready for all joint operations."

During his tour, Chief Roy viewed the mission readiness of the Transit Center at Manas, community outreach programs and current Theater Security Cooperation Division efforts in the community.

"This is my first time back to Manas after about a year and a half," he said. "The mission here continues to grow. The Airmen are absolutely phenomenal. Their sense of pride and ownership in the mission is unbelievable. I talked to many Airmen today, whether they're working on the flight line or Theater Security Cooperation, and they are pumped up about this mission.

"I just want to say, 'thank you' to the men and women at Manas for the fantastic job they do," Chief Roy said. "Our host nation here is so gracious to host us, and it's just dynamic having that in a deployed environment to help build relationships, not just for the Airmen, but for those in the community."

Chief Roy also took aim at current force structure and future operations of the Air Force.

"We have not cut the force to this point; we have managed the force," he said. "We've moved some forces into different and new mission sets, all the while remembering what the mission is of the Air Force and what our nation has asked us to do.

As the Air Force and its operations change over time, Airmen are going to have to be able to shift while remaining resilient, and be able to do the things the nation requires, Chief Roy added.

"To think that 100 percent of our Airmen today are volunteers -- volunteers knowing that we're a nation at war -- that's patriotism," Chief Roy added. "The sense of pride and sense of duty that they have for their nation is incredible. I can't be more proud of the Airmen and all our service members than I am today. They and their families sacrifice dearly. They need to be recognized as well."

During the visit, Chief Roy also offered advice to young Airmen and supervisors to work within deployed operations.

"When you come to a place like this, you need to absolutely understand what the mission is," he said. "When we train back at garrison, you've got to pay attention to that training. That training is provided so we have the muscle memory required should something go astray.

"We also provide our Airmen the absolute best equipment that is offered," he said. "That's necessary; that's a requirement. I'm proud of those Airmen who take all those elements and apply them to this mission. I'm extremely proud of not just our Airmen, but our joint partners and coalition partners who work with us. It is truly a team."