General Schwartz sees full spectrum of fly, fight, win

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alice Moore
  • 432nd Wing Public Affairs
Gen. Norton Schwartz and his wife Suzie visited Creech and Nellis Air Force Bases, Dec. 13, to meet with Airmen and get a first-hand look at operations. 

This was General Schwartz's first visit to both bases since becoming the 19th chief of staff. He said it was important for him to visit Creech and see the 432nd Wing and 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing operations because the UAS capability plays a critical role in mission success. In addition, he wanted to let Airmen here know leadership is here to support them. 

"UAS is a game-changing capability and vital to the global war on terrorism and it is no surprise that these systems are in such high demand with the combatant commanders," General Schwartz said. "We know this demand has created some challenges and the Airmen here at Creech have stepped up in answering those challenges. " 

The Air Force chief of staff said that with the increasing UAS demands, senior leadership understands their responsibility to provide what's necessary to meet requirements. 

"The Air Force is dedicated to increasing equipment, training and operations capacity as quickly as possible to help win the fight," he said. 

General Schwartz wanted to emphasize to the men and women of the 432nd how vital UAS is in our Nation's defense and that we must continue to stay ready to fight. 

"There can be little doubt about the relevance and potential of unmanned systems," General Schwartz said. "The Airmen of the 432nd play an important role today and will play an even greater role in global vigilance, reach and power in the future. You all are shining examples of what fly, fight and win is all about." 

During his visit to Creech, General Schwartz received a wing mission briefing and view MQ-1 Predator operations and MQ-9 Reaper operations first hand by visiting the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron and 42nd Attack Squadron. He said he was impressed by the level of professionalism displayed by the Airmen he met. 

Mrs. Schwartz received a tour of various quality of life facilities throughout the base to include the Creech recreation center and dining facility. She also toured a static display of the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper aircraft. 

"The one thing that has stood out to me during this visit to Creech is how focused the Airmen here are," General Schwartz said. "It's amazing to see the level of dedication and teamwork of the Airmen of the 432nd." 

Col. Chris Chambliss, 432nd Wing and 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, said with the ongoing changes happening within the UAS community it's important for senior leadership to see operations first-hand. 

"Today was a good opportunity for General Schwartz to see how the UAS mission is integral the global war on terrorism," Colonel Chambliss said. "I think he was impressed at our capabilities and got a full understanding of how vital Airmen assigned to the 432nd are." 

While at Creech, General Schwartz also addressed the future of the UAS mission. The Air Force is projecting an additional 800 UAS operators during the next five years based on demands. In order to meet this goal, the service will assign up to 100 pilots a year from undergraduate pilot training directly to UAS operations, he said. The Air Force's only MQ-1 and MQ-9 formal training units are currently located at Creech. 

"Ultimately, our intent is to form a dedicated cadre of professional UAS operators," he said. "The Air Force is dedicated to building the UAS force our nation requires while continuing to lead innovation in capabilities and employment." 

General Schwartz was also the guest speaker at the U.S. Air force Weapons School graduation. 

Brig. Gen. Stephen Hoog, USAFWC commander discussed the importance of the Air Force chief of staff's presence at the graduation. 

"It was an honor to show General Schwartz the incredible work our Airmen are performing here at Nellis and Creech AFBs," said Brig. Gen. Stephen L. Hoog, USAFWC commander. "His presence at the Weapons School graduation is a testament to the importance the school and its students play in projecting air, space and cyberspace power in support of our national security objectives." 

At Nellis, General Schwartz had a meal at the Crosswinds Dining Facility and was briefed on the missions of the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center and its wings. He also received briefings from the 561st Joint Tactics Squadron and Coalition and Irregular Warfare Center of Excellence. 

Mrs. Schwartz was briefed on USAFWC mission, toured the Nellis Solar Array complex, visited the Thunderbirds museum and Nellis Airmen's Center, and attended the base's annual Children's Christmas celebration. 

Colonel Chambliss said hosting General Schwartz was a great opportunity because it's not every day you get to be a part of showing Air Force senior leadership the full spectrum of warfighter capabilities. 

"It was my pleasure to host General Schwartz today," said Colonel Chambliss. "He was able to see how the warfighter performs here at Creech and also spend time with the Air Force's newest weapons school graduates. Both missions are extremely important to General Schwartz's vision of fly, fight and win, 24/7, 365 days a year." 

(99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs contributed to this article) 

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