CMSAF kicks off USAFE tour with visit to Lajes Field

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Marcus McDonald
  • 65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
The top enlisted Airman began his tour of U.S. Air Forces in Europe installations during a visit here April 4 and 5. 

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley said he and his wife, Paula, enjoyed spending time with Airmen assigned to this island, which is located about 900 miles off the coast of mainland Portugal. 

"This is a very strategic location for the Air Force and the Department of Defense," Chief McKinley said. "All of the Airmen who are assigned here are doing a great job for our country." 

One topic the chief addressed to Lajes Field Airmen was enlisted performance reports. 

"This summer, you'll see new EPRs as well as (officer performance reports). We haven't changed the EPR since 1989 and it's time for a change," he said. 

More facts and less "fluff" will be the major difference in current and future performance reports. 

"We're trying to improve it so we don't have to spend so much time writing it," Chief McKinley explained. "We want to have more facts in particular areas versus sometimes a lot of fluff to fill up all the lines."

A new performance feedback form will also come out in conjunction with the new EPR. The front sheet of the performance feedback form will look exactly the same as the front sheet of the EPR. 

"Writing a good EPR starts with doing a quality performance feedback on our Airmen," the chief said. "It's not about how well you can write an EPR; it's about how well you evaluate your Airmen." 

The new Professional Development Guide, which will replace both the Promotion Fitness Examination and U.S. Air Force Supervisory Examination Study Guides, was another topic of discussion. 

"This guide shouldn't be something that you just pick up when you get ready to test," Chief McKinley said. "It's a very informative tool that can be used by all civilians, enlisted members and officers on a regular basis." 

Airmen will be able to download the guide onto their MP3 player for free. 

"Some people learn better by listening instead of reading," Chief McKinley said. "Combining the opportunity to read the book with listening to it and not having to pay a penny is a great improvement for our Airmen." 

The chief said Airmen wearing the uniform today should be proud of their service to a grateful nation. 

"What a great honor to serve our country when we're needed most," he said. "One day we'll look back without regret knowing we served our nation while we were at war and we did our best."

The chief said Airmen at Lajes Field and around the world are like none he's ever seen since he joined the Air Force in 1974. 

"We have the best Airmen I've ever known," he said. "I'm so proud to serve alongside of them." 

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