Air Force secretary visits Airmen at Hickam

  • Published
As part of his six-base tour in Pacific Air Forces, Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley visited here Dec. 18 and spoke to Airmen about several Air Force issues.

"I'm delighted to be here with Team Hickam and to reacquaint myself with the mission here," said Secretary Donley to more than 600 Airmen at an Airman's Call on Hickam's grassy mall. "I'm very pleased to see the total force working together, especially the 15th Airlift Wing and Hawaii Air National Guard. What our Airmen bring to the theater, to the command here, are great capabilities."

During the 45-minute program, Secretary Donley administered the oath of re-enlistment to five Airmen, explained that Airmen are part of a larger joint coalition team providing vital capabilities, and outlined his view of the Air Force.

"Our Air Force is at an important reflection point in its history, where changes in the strategic environment, changes in technology, and changes in the resources environment are combining in new ways to shape a new future for our Air Force going forward," said Secretary Donley.

Secretary Donley also highlighted the Year of the Air Force Family.

"July 2009 to July 2010 is the Year of the Air Force Family," said Secretary Donley. "We know that Airmen do not do what you do every day without the support of your family. Without their support it would be a lot harder."

Secretary Donley closed his remarks with a Hawai'ian touch.

"From the bottom of my heart, mahalo for all you are doing to support our Air Force," he said. "You are doing a tremendous job out here."

During a question and answer session, physical fitness was addressed in response to a question about the upcoming changes to the fitness program.

"We looked at the Air Force Year of the Family, and determined health and fitness kind of go together," said Secretary Donley. "It's an obligation of everyone in uniform to be physically fit in order to accomplish the mission. So it was felt like we needed to focus more on making sure we could meet higher standards in this area."

Secretary Donley also addressed the Air Force's need for refueling tankers.

"Well, somebody asked me the other day, and it's kind of a rhetorical question, 'What would the Air Force like for Santa to put in its stocking?', I said, 'A tanker,'" said Secretary Donley. "We're focused on getting the warfighter a tanker that is ready on day one."

Secretary Donley concluded by saying, "Please know from a personal point of view, it remains a great honor for me to serve with you in the world's finest Air Force."