Acting SecAF ‘gives thanks’ to Airmen in Osan, Kunsan

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric K. Fanning visited Airmen in South Korea here, Nov. 25-26.

At Osan Air Base, in addition to making stops at the 607th Air and Space Operations Center and the 694th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, Fanning also held an all call to educate Airmen about the current climate of the Air Force.

Fanning discussed force structure, noting that promotions should not be affected because the branch still needs a healthy balance of all ranks, even after re-shaping.

"We need to invest in the new Air Force, invest in the future, and enhance our readiness," Fanning said.

Sexual assault prevention continues to be on the forefront of current policy, and Fanning emphasized the responsibility of every Airman to be a part of the solution.

"There are too many Airmen having things happen to them that should never happen," the secretary said. "We need to be open-minded and keep at this."

Fanning answered several questions about education benefits, upcoming Air Force initiatives and other topics related to maintaining combat readiness in a time of relative uncertainty.

As fiscal 2014 kicks into gear, Fanning encouraged Airmen to continue to keep a positive attitude.

"Thank you for persevering through all of this," Fanning said. "Seeing people stay focused and still able to accomplish their mission is great."

While visiting Kunsan Air Base, Fanning said he enjoyed getting to know more about the Air Force and its Airmen.

"Seven months into this job and I am amazed by how much I am still learning about the Air Force," he said. "The Air Force is everywhere; a lot of places that can't be seen -- and that's a big part of our job. It's our job to explain what exactly air power is (to the public)."

The secretary went on to thank the Airmen for their service, especially for at Kunsan AB, without their families during the holidays.

"I know all of you are deployed here without your families, and so I wanted to come to this base specifically to thank you and say ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ in person," Fanning said.

(Staff Sgt. Jessica Haas, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, contributed to this story)