CMSAF McKinley visits Airmen at Hurlburt Field

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Angela Shepherd
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Enlisted Airmen here gained the opportunity this week to meet and hear from Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley.

During his three-day stay, Chief McKinley immersed himself in the Air Force Special Operations Command mission.

"I've been fully impressed since day one with everything I've seen here," the chief said. "I've learned a lot about the mission and the great things this command does in combat. I find it amazing to learn more about the capabilities AFSOC brings to the battlefield."

Although Chief McKinley spent time much of the time learning about Hurlburt and AFSOC, he also took the opportunity to educate base Airmen on sweeping changes taking place in the Air Force.

During his enlisted call at Freedom Hangar March 6, he spoke about physical training gear, the new Airmen Battle Uniform and quality-of-life issues. However, the topic stirring up the most excitement from the audience was the upcoming transformation of the enlisted performance report system.

"Your time is valuable, and we want to give you as much time to get out from behind the computer and get out in front of your Airmen," Chief McKinley said. "So this summer, we're going to roll out new EPRs. There will be less writing involved, and in the end, we're going to have an EPR that is quicker and easier to accomplish."

Also in the spirit of saving Airmen time, the chief spoke about reducing the amount of ancillary training and consolidating of additional duties.

Quality-of-life issues were another hot topic. Chief McKinley said his top four priorities in this arena are taking care of wounded Airmen and their families, making sure childcare is available and affordable, investing in housing and lessening the negative impacts on family members associated with permanent change of station moves.

Throughout the enlisted call, Chief McKinley's pride in today's Air Force Airmen was evident.

"This generation of Airmen is so educated, and they are in-the-know about what's going on in their Air Force. That is important because it takes everyone's contributions to form the great team we have," he said. "It's also heart-warming to know Airmen joining after Sept. 11, 2001, knew they'd be going to war, leaving their families behind -- and yet here they are, standing along side us today."

Chief McKinley said this was a valuable trip for him -- learning more about AFSOC and reinforcing his strong sense of respect for the men and women who make up Team Hurlburt.

"It has really been an honor to be here. It was truly a great opportunity to meet the Airmen of this base and see what they do to support the global war on terrorism," he said. "This visit makes me look forward to the great things AFSOC will accomplish in the future." 

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