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Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force visits 193rd Special Operations Wing

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody presents a coin to Tech. Sgt. Donielle Stewart, 193rd Special Operations Wing EC operator, for outstanding service. Chief Cody visited the 193rd Feb. 22-23 to get a firsthand look at the wing’s Commando Solo mission and speak with Airmen about challenges they face. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Senior Airman Claire Behney)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody presents a coin to Tech. Sgt. Donielle Stewart for outstanding service Feb. 25, 2014, during a visit with the 193rd Special Operations Wing in Middletown, Pa. Cody visited the 193rd SOWto get a firsthand look at the wing’s missions and speak with Airmen about challenges they face. Stewart is a 193rd Special Operations Wing EC operator. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Senior Airman Claire Behney)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speaks with Airmen of the 193rd Special Operations Wing, Logistic Readiness Squadron Aerial Port. Chief Cody visited the 193rd Feb. 22-23 to get a firsthand look at the wing’s Commando Solo mission and speak with Airmen about challenges they face. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Senior Airman Claire Behney)

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speaks with Airmen Feb. 25, 2014, during a visit with the 193rd Special Operations Wing, Logistic Readiness Squadron Aerial Port in Middletown, Pa. Cody visited the 193rd SOW to get a firsthand look at the wing’s missions and speak with Airmen about challenges they face. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Senior Airman Claire Behney)

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (AFNS) -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and his wife, retired Chief Master Sgt. Athena Cody, visited the 193rd Special Operations Wing Feb. 22 to 23 to get a firsthand look at the wing's missions at Middletown, Pa., and Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, Pa., and to speak with Airmen and their families about current Air Force issues and changes.

One of the top concerns Airmen raised to the Air Force's top enlisted member was the potential impact of looming personnel cuts that could leave the Air Force with up to 25,000 fewer active-duty Airmen who may then look to the Guard and Reserve for jobs.

"These are turbulent times and the fiscal realities of our nation are the same in the Department of Defense," Cody said. "Budgets will be smaller. We must continue to be good stewards of the resources we have. The good news is that we have the right people -- our Airmen -- in position to do this and to help us evolve."

Mrs. Cody spent much her visit talking with family program managers about how military families can best prepare for what lies ahead.

"Airmen and Family Readiness, they really do a fantastic job of reaching out to our military families,” she said. “The hardest job they have is getting families to reach back and to tap into the resources that are available. As members, we need to do what we can to prepare our families and connect them with all those helping agencies. Then they can reach out when they need to and transitions will go a lot smoother."

In addition to answering questions about the tough issues facing Airmen, Cody made a point to meet with Airmen of all ranks and thank them for what they do.

"You are professionals dedicated to doing your jobs, to serving in our Air Force, and to doing (your) very best every day,” he said. “I can give countless examples of how well our Airmen are performing here and around the world."

However, "that doesn't mean we can rest on that," he cautioned. "We can never lose sight of our core values, even for a moment. They are the essence of who we are."

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