CSAF, CMSAF visit Offutt AFB
By Staff Sgt. Rachel Hammes, 55th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 20, 2017
OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AFNS) -- Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright visited Offutt Air Force Base, Oct. 18, 2017.
Goldfein and Wright received a tour of the base, and learned more about the mission accomplished by the 55th Wing, U.S. Strategic Command and other partner units at Offutt AFB.
At an all-call held in the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility, Goldfein spoke about the importance of adapting the Air Force mission to modern demands.
After 2014, the world changed, Goldfein said. Russia's invasion of Crimea, the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, along with actions by other countries, required the Air Force and the military as a whole to shift their focus.
"As the world changed, it also changed for us, and how we look at the future of conflict," he said. "It caused us to take a look at how we've been fighting for the last 16 years. What muscles have we built up, and what muscles may have atrophied?"
Squadron revitalization is key to Goldfein's plan for building up the Air Force.
"The chief and I are laser-focused on revitalizing squadrons," he said. "We've come a long way, but there's a long way to go. The mission of the Air Force succeeds or fails in the squadron. Squadrons are where Airmen arrive when they come out of their pipeline training, it's where we inculcate them with the character and the culture of being an Airman. We're focused on pushing the decision authority down to squadron commanders and squadron commander teams, to ensure you have the tools you need to be able to operate and accomplish your mission." Goldfein said that trust was key in his decision to push this policy.
"If you heard one thing from the chief and I today, it would be this: we absolutely trust you," he said. "We trust you to make the decisions that you need to make to run those squadrons. If this next conflict comes, we got to be able to have squadron command leadership that can operate under mission command guidance, move out, make decisions, take risks and accomplish the mission."
Wright said one of his initiatives was to create leadership development programs, to ensure Airmen are well trained, well led and they are resilient enough to maintain a strategic advantage.
"I've worked so hard to get our leadership development programs in place, aligning our leadership development programs with our assignment systems to get the right leaders in the right place at the right time," he said. "I still worry a lot about resiliency. Since the last time I was here, there have been an additional eight or nine suicides in our Air Force. I still believe that this is a dual responsibility between both you and I and me and the boss to make sure that you have the resources that you need, like military and family life consultants, and the coping resources so you can continue to be great teammates and great wingmen."
Staff Sgt. Ashleigh Buch, 338th Combat Training Squadron instructor, said hearing leaders is an important part of gaining trust in their vision.
"When we get to see leaders actually out there modelling behavior and leadership, and connecting with individuals, I think that's really powerful," she said. "It's very motivating for Airmen. I feel optimistic about the future of the Air Force under Gen. Goldfein."