COMUSAFE visits Film City's Kosovo Airmen

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Renee Kirkland
  • Headquarters Kosovo Forces Pubic Information Office
U.S. Air Forces in Europe Commander Gen. William T. Hobbins visited Film City at Headquarters Kosovo Forces in Pristina, Kosovo. During his Nov. 6 visit, General Hobbins met with more than 40 Airmen assigned to Film City and Camp Bondsteel.

Upon his arrival, the KFOR commander, German Lt. Gen. Roland Kather greeted Gen. Hobbins' party, and U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Albert Bryant, KFOR chief of staff, briefed him on the KFOR mission.

General Hobbins spoke with deployed Airmen on the proposed manpower cuts and how it would affect USAFE and the Air Force as a whole. He also asked the Airmen what he could do for them here in Kosovo.

The manpower cuts, he stressed, were a deletion of billets, not faces, for USAFE. Some people in USAFE will serve out their DEROS, while others may move due to leveling-out of forces back in the states.

The cuts in manpower, however, should not be seen as a "do more with less situation." According to General Hobbins, this is the opportunity for Airmen to actively participate in the Air Force Smart Operations 21 initiative.

"AFSO21 allows people to become more efficient with their jobs," he said. "This will prevent those who are left behind, after the billets are deleted, from feeling as if they are being left to do the jobs of those who have departed as well as their own. We must work smarter."

The average Airmen deploys to KFOR for four months, although some intelligence Airmen serve six. The mission conditions drive tour lengths. Although the Kosovo mission may not be as visible as Iraq or Afghanistan, we are making a difference, General Hobbins said.

Accompanying General Hobbins was Chief Master Sgt. Gary Coleman, USAFE command chief, who updated deployed Airmen on command issues.

Chief Coleman informed his audience that they would be very happy with the new Airman Battle Uniform.

"The new ABU is the best thing I've seem in my years of service," he said. "It is wash-and-wear, has permanent creases so that you don't have to iron it, and no patches. It feels like an old football jersey against your skin."

Chief Coleman assured the Airmen that the fit would be better than the current battle dress uniform.

"There will be sizes for both men and women," he said. "Even boots will come in men and women sizes. I didn't know before now that women had been wearing boots made for me. This will be a one-size-fits-all uniform, meaning that this uniform will be worn both in garrison and at deployed sites."

After leaving Film City, the visitors were taking on a site survey of the KFOR area of responsibility to include Camp Bondsteel by helicopter before leaving the area.