CMSAF visits Aviano Airmen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sarah Gregory
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Aviano Airmen had a chance to meet and talk with Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley during his visit here April 9 and 10. 

The Air Force's top enlisted Airman paid a visit to Aviano as part of his U.S. Air Forces in Europe tour. During his stay, he hosted an Airmen's breakfast and an NCO luncheon where he spoke about the top issues concerning today's Airmen. 

One area Chief McKinley talked about was the Aerospace Expeditionary Force deployment rotations. Chief McKinley said the Air Force is currently filling about 5,000 "in-lieu of" taskings. 

"That may increase a little bit, but we really think that the 120-day AEF rotation is the right rotation for the Air Force," he said. While acknowledging that some Airmen are serving longer deployments, Chief McKinley said that eventually the Air Force would like to move back to the standard 120-day rotations. Although that is the Air Force's goal, its ultimate responsibility is to support the war efforts. 

"We're going to continue to do this as long as we're tasked and as long as we're needed," he said. "We're here to win the Global War on Terrorism. So when the Air Force gets taskings, we're going to do what we need to do." 

During his visit Chief McKinley also hosted an enlisted call, toured the flightline dorms and medical facilities, and received an update on Aviano's Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century initiatives. 

"AFSO 21 is about being more efficient, spending our money wisely, reducing waste and becoming a more efficient and capable Air Force," said Chief McKinley. "I've been very impressed during my visit here. Aviano Airmen are getting it right through some of the projects they're working on to reduce waste and to be more efficient in aircraft maintenance." 

Other topics discussed were uniform changes such as the Airman Battle Uniform and the new service dress uniform. On the new service dress, Chief McKinley said, "It's going to be functional, comfortable and will project a sharp military look for our Airmen," he said. 

After his visit to Aviano, Chief McKinley and Chief Master Sgt. Gary Coleman, USAFE command chief, will continue their tour at Ghedi Air Base, Italy. 

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