CMSAF visits Botswana, shares view on deliberate development

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jim Fisher
  • 17th Air Force Public Affairs
Deliberate development is a topic the chief master sergeant of the Air Force discusses throughout the Air Force and in many corners of the world.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy touched down in Botswana Oct. 11 to share his view on deliberate development with senior NCOs from the Botswana Defense Force.

"It's (been) a long time ... since (our NCO corps) was founded, and we have never been visited by a person of his rank," said Chief Roy's Botswana Defense Force counterpart, Air Arm Command Sgt. Maj. Mogakolodi Sebego. "It's a historic day for our air force, a memorable day. We are blessed, and we have learned a lot. Our friendship will grow bigger and bigger."

Chief Roy said he was impressed with the commitment from BDF officials on enlisted force development.

"They seem to be a very disciplined force, and very professional," Chief Roy said. "They have a desire to continue to better themselves, and they are dedicated to expand education and training."

Master Sgt. Timothy Wilson, the U.S. Embassy's Air Attaché since 2009, said he has witnessed this dedication in the BDF. 

He said he's seen the BDF stand up professional military education schools at the NCO and senior NCO levels.

"I've seen them make great strides in my time here," he said. "They've taken concrete steps to have a more capable enlisted corps."

Sergeant Wilson regularly serves as an instructor for the BDF senior NCO course, and he has led security cooperation efforts in the country, including a range of activities beyond the air domain.

"I try to be the example to the BDF," he said. "I can show them ... how the U.S. Air Force uses their SNCOs. We are training and doing jobs that would be done by officers in many (of the) other militaries around the world. When I can come in and do the job right and bring the BDF with me, showing them how we do things, it makes a big impact."

Chief Roy discussed the effective use of the enlisted Airmen and NCOs during meetings with Maj. Gen. T.M. Paledi, the BDF Air Arm commander, and assembled senior enlisted leaders.

Chief Roy broke down the three primary facets of deliberate development: experience, education and training.

He also repeatedly referenced two go-to documents for the U.S. Air Force enlisted force: Air Force Instruction 36-2618 on Enlisted Force Structure and the Air Force pamphlet on Core Values.

While the chief emphasized that his model could be adapted for different circumstances, he asserted that deliberate development should be comprehensive and a component of strategic planning.

"It's not just about how we function today, but about what we will be doing in 15 years," Chief Roy said. "To get there, you have to develop deliberately. Experience, education and training must happen together."

In turn, Chief Roy said he has heard about force structure and development within the BDF.

He said these types of engagements are opportunities for all participants to learn, and U.S. Airmen taking part in them must make this a priority.

"We don't come with all the answers," he said. "We have certain things that we do well, and we are willing to share them with them with our partners, but we also learn from them. I learned a lot from the visit and after learning about their efforts, I am even more convinced of our need for deliberate development."

Besides the exchange of expertise, the chief stressed the Air Force's support for the BDF.

"We are here to continue to provide assistance," Chief Roy said. "The BDF has a great relationship with the North Carolina Air National Guard through the state partnership program; and with 17th Air Force coordinating and synchronizing these activities, the partnership is working for the good of both countries."

Chief Roy traveled with a contingent from 17th Air Force, also known as Air Forces Africa.

AFAFRICA, the air component for U.S. Africa Command, conducts engagements with partner nations in Africa on subjects ranging from aircraft maintenance to airspace management.