SELIS 22: CMSAF hosts largest international DAF engagement

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  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass hosted the 2022 Senior Enlisted Leader International Summit Aug. 1-5, bringing together senior enlisted leaders from across the Department of Defense, NATO and 60 allied and partner nations.

The five-day summit focused on “Winning the High-End Fight,” providing senior enlisted leaders an opportunity to build and maintain relationships, secure common interests, promote shared values, and deter current and potential threats by demonstrating the strength of global military partnerships.

“It’s more than just an opportunity to meet, dialogue, and share perspectives with my enlisted partners from more than 60 nations,” Bass said. “SELIS represents a promise to the future – a promise to work together, in the spirit of trust and solidarity to ensure the world our children, and their children, inherit will enjoy longstanding peace and stability.”

During the event Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Kostiantyn Stanislavchuk briefed about ongoing military operations in Ukraine and how the Ukrainian NCO corps has strengthened with the help of U.S. and NATO allies since the 2014 invasion by Russia.

"Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has shown what happens when you don’t trust and develop a strong NCO corps," Bass said. "While they have certainly moved fast, not having a strong NCO corps to interpret commanders’ intent and ensure their military members are taken care of, have caused Russian forces to experience mistakes along the way."

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall spoke to the senior enlisted leaders about the responsibility of the United States and its allies and partners have in protecting and sustaining fundamental human rights.

"We need to defend fundamental rights and promote consent and democracy ... Every human has the right to basic security and freedom from violence, the right to access truthful information from any source, and the right to hold their government accountable for its actions," Kendall said. "These aren’t just American values; they are universal values."

He also touched on integrated deterrence and how it directly connects the U.S. and its allies and partners to effectively deter aggression across the globe.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., touched on the importance of trust and relationship building during his comments to symposium attendees, stressing the importance of teamwork.

“I believe that success takes a team, but failure you can do alone,” Brown said. “We’re facing a very dynamic environment that affects us all, and if we want to gain a competitive advantage, we will need to collaborate with our allies and partners. In order to make this happen, we need to build Airmen and Guardians who are leaders that will get the job done in future crises, contingencies, and conflicts.”