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Welsh, Cody: greatest strength is our Airmen

Capt. Elizabeth Hoeltje (left) briefs Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III  Aug. 23, 2013, at Osan Air Base, South Korea. Welsh and Cody spent two days at Osan AB during their first visit to the Pacific Air Forces. Hoeltje is a sustainment flight chief with the 51st Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Siuta B. Ika)

Capt. Elizabeth Hoeltje (left) briefs Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III Aug. 23, 2013, at Osan Air Base, South Korea. Welsh and Cody spent two days at Osan AB during their first visit to the Pacific Air Forces. Hoeltje is a sustainment flight chief with the 51st Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Siuta B. Ika)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speak to Airmen Aug. 22, 2013, at Osan Air Base, South Korea. Throughout their visit to Osan AB, Welsh and Cody met with Airmen from across the base and gave them an opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speak to Airmen Aug. 22, 2013, at Osan Air Base, South Korea. Throughout their visit to Osan AB, Welsh and Cody met with Airmen from across the base and gave them an opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III speaks to members of the 51st Munitions Squadron during his visit to the 51st Maintenance Group Aug. 22, 2013, at Osan Air Base, South Korea. Welsh and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody spent two days at Osan AB during their first visit to the Pacific Air Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Siuta B. Ika)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III speaks to members of the 51st Munitions Squadron during his visit to the 51st Maintenance Group Aug. 22, 2013, at Osan Air Base, South Korea. Welsh and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody spent two days at Osan AB during their first visit to the Pacific Air Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Siuta B. Ika)

Col. Brook Leonard (right) and his wife Maria, listen to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speak during an Airman’s call Aug. 22, 2013 at Osan Air Base, South Korea. Welsh and Cody thanked Airmen for their continued service and dedication, and issued their three keys to success: common sense, communication and caring. Leonard is the 51st Fighter Wing commander.

Col. Brook Leonard (right) and his wife Maria, listen to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speak during an Airman’s call Aug. 22, 2013 at Osan Air Base, South Korea. Welsh and Cody thanked Airmen for their continued service and dedication, and issued their three keys to success: common sense, communication and caring. Leonard is the 51st Fighter Wing commander.

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFNS) --

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody visited here Aug. 22 to 23 to discuss Air Force priorities and thank Airmen and families for their service and dedication.

Throughout their visit, Welsh and Cody met with Airmen from across the base and gave them an opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns during a base-wide Airman's call.

"I think their visit hit a little close to home," said Staff Sgt. Marquette Price, an armament shop floor chief with the 51st Munitions Squadron. "It shows that they care to actually come into our maintenance facility and see what's going on day in and day out that way they can see firsthand what we're doing and maybe make changes as they see fit."

At the Airman's call Cody explained the main reason for his and Welsh's visit was to show their gratitude to all of the men and women serving at Osan Air Base.

"We're extremely honored and privileged to spend some time with you all to thank you for what you do," Cody said. "I also want to thank your families for the sacrifices they've made, because Osan is really a different assignment. While several of our Airmen are here with their families, we have many more that are here on their own. It's a little nostalgic for me to be here, because about 20 years ago I was here, and I thought a lot about my family because they weren't ... You need to take care of each other because while you're here, this is your family."

Caring for each other is one of the Air Force's three keys to success, along with common sense and communication, Welsh said.

"I know that all of you care a lot -- you care about each other, your professions, your families -- but think about the job. We have to fight and win the nation's wars," Welsh said. "We'll never be good enough at that job so we have to get better all the time. Think about the people you work with, that you're sitting beside, think about your family and theirs. We'll never care enough about them -- we have to care more."

The first step, Welsh continued, is to learn about each other.

"Every Airman has a story," he said. "Their stories are incredible, unique, uplifting, sad, inspirational, just incredible, and everybody in here has one. If you don't know the story you can't lead someone as well as you could otherwise. It's really that's simple. It's all about understanding each other, because the better we know each other, the better we'll take care of each other, the prouder we'll be, and the better our Air Force will be. That's the Air Force I think we all want to be part of."

In addition to the three keys to success, the general stressed the importance of continuing to have pride in the little things.

"Over the next five to 15 years, budgets aren't going to be great, but we're still going to be the best Air Force in the world -- we can't afford to forget that -- and we got to make sure our people don't lose that pride," Welsh said. "People plus pride equals performance, and performance is the only bottom line for us."

Welsh concluded his speech by sharing what he's most proud of.

"I don't like anything about the Air Force, I love the Air Force," he said. "I love working with people who know what matters and will do anything it takes to get the job done. I can't tell you how proud chief and I are to stand beside you."

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