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CSAF visits, thanks Yokota AB Airmen

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III addresses Airmen Aug. 27, 2013, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. As part of his first visit to the region as Air Force chief of staff, Welsh met with Airmen to thank them for their service but also to discuss current Air Force challenges and opportunities in the Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III addresses Airmen Aug. 27, 2013, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. As part of his first visit to the region as Air Force chief of staff, Welsh met with Airmen to thank them for their service but also to discuss current Air Force challenges and opportunities in the Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III addresses Airmen Aug. 27, 2013, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. As part of his first visit to the region as Air Force chief of staff, Welsh met with Airmen to thank them for their service and to discuss current Air Force challenges and opportunities in the Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III addresses Airmen Aug. 27, 2013, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. As part of his first visit to the region as Air Force chief of staff, Welsh met with Airmen to thank them for their service and to discuss current Air Force challenges and opportunities in the Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Cooley speaks with Betty Welsh, center, wife of  Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Athena Cody, right, wife of Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody, and 374th Airlift Wing spouses Aug. 27, 2013, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Welsh and Cody learned about programs and operations at Yokota while they took part in a tour of the base. Cooley is with the 374th Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Desiree Economides)

Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Cooley speaks with Betty Welsh, center, wife of Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Athena Cody, right, wife of Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody, and 374th Airlift Wing spouses Aug. 27, 2013, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Welsh and Cody learned about programs and operations at Yokota while they took part in a tour of the base. Cooley is with the 374th Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Desiree Economides)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speaks to senior non-commissioned officers Aug. 27, 2013, while visiting Yokota Air Base, Japan. During the visit, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Cody met with Airmen to get a personal look at how to best prepare and care for America's Airmen as they face challenges in the Pacific theater. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrea Salazar)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speaks to senior non-commissioned officers Aug. 27, 2013, while visiting Yokota Air Base, Japan. During the visit, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Cody met with Airmen to get a personal look at how to best prepare and care for America's Airmen as they face challenges in the Pacific theater. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrea Salazar)

Air Force Chief of Staff Mark A. Welsh III greets Airmen from the 730th Air Mobility Squadron Aug. 27, 2013, during his visit to Yokota Air Base, Japan. As part of his first visit to the region as Air Force chief of staff, Welsh met with Airmen and addressed the Air Force's unique challenges and opportunities in the Asia-Pacific theater. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Cody H. Ramirez)

Air Force Chief of Staff Mark A. Welsh III greets Airmen from the 730th Air Mobility Squadron Aug. 27, 2013, during his visit to Yokota Air Base, Japan. As part of his first visit to the region as Air Force chief of staff, Welsh met with Airmen and addressed the Air Force's unique challenges and opportunities in the Asia-Pacific theater. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Cody H. Ramirez)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody visited Airmen here Aug. 27 as part of a two-week tour of the Pacific region.

During their visit to Yokota Air Base, Japan, Welsh and Cody thanked Airmen for the sacrifices they make while serving their country.

"I'm here for one reason -- to thank you. Thank you for everything you do," Welsh said. "You represent us so well; thank you for all the great work you've done."

Welsh also spoke of the current challenges facing the Air Force and how Airmen can overcome them by applying three C's: common sense, communication and caring more.

"You have the ability to change things," Welsh said. "You've just got to believe it and have the courage to do it." 

Welsh stressed the importance of knowing every Airman's story to build a stronger bond amongst the Air Force.

"Get to know the people you work with, learn what drives them and take care of each other," Welsh said.

Following his remarks, Welsh fielded questions from Airmen and invited them to personally meet with him, his wife, Betty, and Cody's wife, Athena.

Welsh's remarks left a lasting impact on those in attendance, such as Airman 1st Class Virbon Frial.

"I loved his speech, especially the last part," said Frial, a dental technician assigned to the 374th Dental Squadron. "Knowing everyone's story is the best way to lead, and I will take this speech to heart when I lead Airmen in the future as a noncommissioned officer."

Earlier in the day, Welsh visited the Japanese Air Defense Command to see the bilateral command and control functions operating at Yokota AB.

Welsh also visited the 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron's Combat Mobility Flight, where he met and coined Airmen for their critical role preparing air-drop payloads for day-to-day airlift operations and contingencies.

During Cody's visit, he met with senior NCO's to discuss challenges and opportunities in taking care of Airmen amidst an uncertain fiscal environment. Welsh's tour of the Pacific region continues until Aug. 31.

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