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Top enlisted Airman visits Maxwell-Gunter members

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy speaks to the staff, faculty and students of the Air Force First Sergeants Academy during his visit Feb. 23, 2010, to Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Ala. (U.S. Air Force photo/Melanie Rodgers-Cox)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy speaks to the staff, faculty and students of the Air Force First Sergeants Academy during his visit Feb. 23, 2010, to Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Ala. (U.S. Air Force photo/Melanie Rodgers-Cox)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) -- The chief master sergeant of the Air Force talked about his vision for the Air Force enlisted corps during his visit to Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base Feb. 22 through 25.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy said he is evaluating many aspects of the corps.

The re-integration of Airmen when they return from deployment is one of the chief's priorities because today's missions are "different and important but, not traditional" for enlisted members of the Air Force, he said. 

A primary concern the chief hears from today's Airmen regarding deployments is the care available for their families while they are gone.

"One of the key things is re-integration, but we also have to make sure Airmen have contact with their family members while deployed," he said. "I want to (also) highlight the wingman program and build on that. It helps build a sense of resiliency and is an area where we do well but could do better."

Chief Roy said he would like to see a greater focus on expeditionary training Airmen can apply during deployments in the areas of responsibility.

Significant changes have been made in the combat Airman skills training for individual Air Force specialty codes, and those changes should assist Airmen in becoming better prepared for deployments, the chief said.

"We have looked at that training, and we are trying to standardize curriculum," he said. "We also want a curriculum that can be changed as needed, as combat skills are constantly changing. This has helped twice-over because it minimizes training time. However, I feel it is better to give Airmen training they may never need to use than for them to be in a position where they need training they never received."

Regarding future changes for enlisted Airmen, the chief said increased professional military education is at the top of his list.

"For the long range, I would like to have more deliberate development of Airmen and better evaluation of how their skills and training will best serve the Air Force," he said. "Increasing PME for enlisted members will continue to help focus their efforts and help them think more globally. It will also assist them in working with other nations to build those nation's capabilities."

Chief Roy said he sees gaps in enlisted PME that need to be addressed and he would like to close those gaps during his tenure as CMSAF.

"I think one of the biggest gaps is between Airman Leadership School and the NCO Academy," he said. "That gap in training can be as much as 10 years, and I think we need to start accepting staff sergeants into the NCOAs to help close the gap. It is necessary to provide our first-line supervisors with the tools to do the mission."

Chief Roy's overall message to members of the enlisted corps is to be the best Airman a person can be regardless of the position or AFSC.

"As the chief of staff of the Air Force says, 'all Airmen count,'" the chief said. "Be mission focused and do the task at hand."

All training should be done in a timely manner and documented, as this increases the technical abilities of Airmen, the chief added. Airmen also need to maintain a balance in their careers.

"There needs to be a balance between the mission and taking care of people," Chief Roy said. "Make sure Airmen are prepared and trained to do the mission. Also, make sure people continue to comply with the 'basics' and Air Force instructions. We find a significant number of casualties are the result of people taking short cuts."

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