CMSAF visits Osan Air Base, concludes PACAF tour

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Eric Burks
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The chief master sergeant of the Air Force visited Osan Air Base Dec. 30 and 31, wrapping up a year-end tour of Pacific Air Forces bases.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy and his wife, Paula, met with Osan Airmen and families, visiting facilities and organizations across the base.

Spending the final day of 2010 at Osan AB, Chief Roy said in looking forward to 2011, it's important to look back and reflect upon what was accomplished during the past year.

"We've pressed forward and have continued to focus on the joint coalition operation of today's fight and how we prepare our Airmen," he said. "We've continued to seek a path of deliberate development in terms of experience, education and training.

"We've also put a lot of focus on resiliency of our Airman and their families," the chief said.

"We're still a nation at war," he said.  "We're still in combat operations in Afghanistan, and on the Korean peninsula, activities that have occurred over the last few months remind us that this could be a very dangerous place. 

"We need to become very sensitive to this idea of resiliency," Chief Roy said. "This year we've seen the highest rate of suicides in our Air Force history. We've got to continue to focus on getting those Airmen and their families the tools necessary to work through the challenges they face."

For the new year, Chief Roy said his primary resolution was to continue to advise the secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force chief of staff on enlisted matters for Airmen and their families.

"Just as we've done in 2010, Paula and I are absolutely committed to the well-being and interests of our Airmen and families," he said.

On a personal note, he said, another resolution was simply to "continue to be a father."

"I have twin 10-year-olds and I'll continue striving to be the father they need," the chief said. "I've spent a fair amount of time away from family as well so it's always important to make the best of quality time when you do have it."

Chief Roy was stationed at Osan as a young Airman on his second assignment in 1987 and said that there are both similarities and contrasts to that time.

One similarity, he noted, is that "the would-be-adversary to the north is still there and over the last few weeks there's been an opportunity to refocus the attention on where it needs to be."

"Back in 1987, there was a complete focus on the mission, and that dedication is exactly the same today," Chief Roy said.

One major difference, he said, is the number of family members at Osan.

"That's a positive change and it brings a different sense to the base," he said. "The families Paula and I talked with during our visit are very happy to be here.

"A lot of Airmen volunteer to come here now," he said. "That has changed dramatically, and it's a very positive thing that Airmen and their families look forward to the idea of serving in South Korea."

Another difference between 1987 and today, he said, was the Air Force's relationship with its joint partners.

"We work a lot more closely with the Army, as well as the (Repubic of Korea) Air Force now, and there's a great sense of joint coalition teamwork here," Chief Roy said. "It's very positive that we're not only working closely with our coalition partners, but with our allies we're here to defend."

The chief also offered words of advice on how Osan Airmen can make the most of a tour here.

"First, realize that (you're) in another nation and are a U.S. ambassador.  In that capacity, (your) actions or inactions have a strategic value," he said. "Get involved and take part in activities in the local community ... as I've traveled around the base, a lot of Airmen have told me they absolutely enjoy the Korean culture."

When it comes to professional development, Chief Roy said, a tour at Osan can offer many educational opportunities.

"Go out there and get your degree, better yourself and the quality of life for your family, and continue to read from the chief of staff's reading list," he said. "If you need to catch up on something, now's the time to do it.

"Osan also has a great fitness center ... take advantage of the opportunity and time here to better yourself physically," he said.

He also encouraged Airmen to stay in shape spiritually, as well as physically.

"Participate in activities that foster spiritual development," the chief said.  "There are many opportunities here."

Chief Roy then offered his final thoughts before departing the base.

"To all the Airmen and their family members stationed here, it's good to be back at Osan and see the absolute team spirit here," he said. "To our great hosts in the ROK, thank you for continuing to partner with us."

"And to the family members back home ... thank you for the many sacrifices you endure, so that we may serve," Chief Roy said.