Secretary Wynne expects Airmen to continue to excel
By Tech. Sgt. Ryan Mattox, Air Force Print News
/ Published June 02, 2006
SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- While visiting various installations in the San Antonio area May 31 to June 2, Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne talked about the importance of core values, technology and training facing today’s Airmen and the Air Force.
The secretary focused on what the Air Force expects from its Airmen and, in turn, what they can expect from the Air Force in accomplishing the mission.
“The Air Force expects them to adhere to the Air Force core values,” he said. “The core values of the Air Force can carry you through a very long career, and they really do matter as to how you approach the mission.”
The secretary emphasized "Excellence in all we do" as something Airmen should practice daily. He said Airmen are expected to continue to excel in gaining knowledge about their jobs and being accountable for the job they do.
“As Airmen grow in their career fields, I encourage them to educate themselves over time because education gives them the power to create opportunities and to accept more responsibility,” he said.
With those expectations being so high in today’s Air Force, Airmen are often asked to work on the nation’s most technologically advanced missions and equipment, specifically those involved with the war on terrorism.
“We have to remember that our Air Force has been at war for 15 years, and the products and technology we use against the enemy are completely different than ones we have used in the past,” Secretary Wynne said.
“Sometimes I refer to our Air Force as adaptable and flexible," he said. "We have to adopt those technologies that have been developed and delivered to us to fight in a different way this current enemy."
With technology so critical to mission success, the Air Force needs to continue its dominance in airpower and ensure it can continue to provide support in the war on terrorism.
“We do things differently. As a result we use (unmanned aerial vehicles) and we have our fighters equipped with reconnaissance equipment in lieu of just going after enemy aircraft,” he said.
“As a result, no American Soldier has been attacked from the air in more than 53 years. The reason for that is we have an expectation now of air dominance," the secretary said. "We know that the air is clear and if anything is up there it’s an American aircraft or a coalition aircraft. There is a whole different aspect of warfare that occurs. So we need to continue to push this technology and stay in the realm of air dominance.”
However, the sky is not the limit to where the Air Force finds itself battling an enemy.
“We are also entering into cyberspace, and we are now recognizing that it’s the battlefield of the future, if not the battlefield of the present. We need to be prepared for it,” he said.
“Space is another area where we can’t afford to lose our dominance, and the Air Force played an enormous role the area of space over time," Secretary Wynne said. "As new space equipment comes online we are also learning to use it in a very new and unique and different way.”
Besides equipment and missions, changing the way the Air Force trains was necessary for continued success. For example, basic military training is expanding by a couple of weeks to help today’s Airmen and prepare for changing missions.
“This is an exciting time to see a totally integrated Air Force supporting a totally integrated joint warfight in this aspect of interdependence ... a new way of thinking and a new cultural approach integrating the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard,” he said.
“Our training regime is excellent and it is changing as well. We needed to expand it to really take on the new missions we are taking on," he said.
"We feel a big responsibility to make sure that our Airmen have rifle training, combat medic training and equipment needed to do combat missions or their usual technical missions, which is what we expect them to do,” Secretary Wynne said. “So, this range of effort that is going on has expanded the horizons of our Airmen to the point where they are very excited to be a part of our Air Force, and they should be.”