Under secretary: Goodfellow AFB building lethal, ready force

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Staci Kasischke
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
Goodfellow Air Force Base hosted Under Secretary of the Air Force Matthew P. Donovan, the second highest ranking civilian in the service, Feb. 13.

Donovan is responsible for the affairs of the Air Force, including organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of approximately 685,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and their families worldwide.

He visited Goodfellow AFB to get a firsthand look at how the 17th Training Group is innovating student training to build a ready, lethal force.

“We’re changing the culture from the way we’ve always done it,” Donovan said. “In order to stay ahead of potential threats, we have to innovate, we have to be faster. It’s absolutely important to shift how we do things to keep up with the speed of innovation.”

The visit kicked off with Donovan meeting with wing leadership and learning about the wing’s mission and how it contributes to overall Air Force priorities.

Next, Donovan, along with wing leadership, attended a luncheon with local civic leaders to discuss the importance of present and future base and community partnerships.

“For decades, this base has had such a good relationship with the local community,” Donovan said. “Our new Airmen come here from basic training. It’s their first time being away from home… and for them to be welcomed into the community creates a home away from home for them. I want to express my appreciation for all the residents of San Angelo.”

After the luncheon, Donovan spent the afternoon immersed in the Goodfellow AFB mission. He met with International Intelligence Applications Officer Course instructors and students and checked out the 315th Training Squadron’s 14Next, which is an innovative course focused on active learning.

“The ability to analyze and provide decision-quality information to commanders on the ground and at the senior levels of government is crucial and that’s happening right here,” Donovan said.

He also witnessed the other half of Goodfellow’s mission: to train, develop, and inspire fire-protection professionals. The fire students demonstrated their rapelling procedures, showcased a vehicle rescue and fought a fire on the large frame aircraft trainer.

“We have to have firefighters who are specialty trained to take care of aircraft fires,” Donovan said. That specialized training is so important to the mission… it’s done right here for the entire Department of Defense.”

Donovan concluded his visit with a wrap-up meeting with Col. Ricky Mills, 17th Training Wing commander.

“I had a good discussion with the wing commander… one of the things we have to do is maintain our dominance over any potential threats,” Donovan said. “When we take a look at our national defense strategy… there’s nothing more important than having highly trained intelligence officers for all of our services.”