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SecAF visits 380th Air Expeditionary Wing

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James greets Airmen during a walking tour at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing March 19, 2014, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. During her visit James held an all call, speaking on three priorities: Taking care of people, balancing today's readiness with tomorrow's readiness and making every dollar count. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael Means)

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James greets Airmen during a walking tour at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing March 19, 2014, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. During her visit James held an all call, speaking on three priorities: Taking care of people, balancing today's readiness with tomorrow's readiness and making every dollar count. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael Means)

Brig. Gen. Kevin Schneider greets Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James March 19, 2014, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. The secretary visited the base to learn more about the mission of the 380 Air Expeditionary Wing and meet with Airmen. Schneider is the 380th AEW commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael Means)

Brig. Gen. Kevin Schneider greets Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James March 19, 2014, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. The secretary visited the base to learn more about the mission of the 380 Air Expeditionary Wing and meet with Airmen. Schneider is the 380th AEW commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael Means)

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James speaks during an Airmen's call at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing March 19, 2014, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. During the Airmen's call, James spoke to the audience about her career history and leadership experience, priorities, challenges the Air Force is facing, and core values. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael Means)

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James speaks during an Airmen's call at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing March 19, 2014, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. During the Airmen's call, James spoke to the audience about her career history and leadership experience, priorities, challenges the Air Force is facing, and core values. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael Means)

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James greets Airmen during a flight line tour at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing March 19, 2014, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. During her visit James held an all call, speaking on three priorities: Taking care of people, balancing today's readiness with tomorrow's readiness and making every dollar count. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael Means)

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James greets Airmen during a flight line tour at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing March 19, 2014, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. During her visit James held an all call, speaking on three priorities: Taking care of people, balancing today's readiness with tomorrow's readiness and making every dollar count. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Michael Means)

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James visited the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing here during her first overseas tour, March 19.

To learn more about the mission, role of the Airmen at the 380th AEW, James toured the flightline, had a walking tour of the base and held an Airmen's call.

"I've learned the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing is truly a hub for everything we are doing in this part of the world," James said. "This is a base that has it all. Whether we are talking about fighters, mobility, (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) or command and control, all of these missions are carried out here."

During the Airmen's call, James brought thanks from the leadership in Washington, D.C.

"I am glad to be here," she said. "I hear about what you all do and there is no substitute to coming here and walking the ground and seeing the mission that you work in and getting a sense of the rapid pace of life."

During the Airmen's call, James spoke about her career history and leadership experience, priorities, challenges the Air Force is facing, and core values.

"I am a new Airman, but I am not new to the area of defense," she said. "I've been in and around the world of defense for my entire adult life."

The first priority she discussed was taking care of people.

"My entire career I've focused on people issues," she said. "I think people are the linkage that brings everything together."

The second priority was balancing today's readiness with tomorrow's readiness.

"Balancing today's readiness with tomorrow's readiness is making sure that we have the modernized platforms," she said. "By doing so, we need the new planes, equipment and technologies to carry us forward into the future."

Her last priority was to make sure every dollar counts.

"We need to make sure that everything we do has value to the tax payer," James said. "Everyone has a role to play in making every dollar count. These priorities are going to permeate everything I'll be working on over the next several years."

The secretary also discussed the strategic environment and core values and took questions from Airmen.

"We need to remind ourselves continually about the importance of integrity, service and excellence," James said. "I am thoroughly impressed and glad to be out on the road seeing what our Airmen are doing in the field. You truly are the tip of the spear of our efforts in the theater."

The secretary wrapped up the Airmen's call by thanking Airmen for what they do.

"I want to thank you for the magnificent job you are doing," she said. "As I walk around and talk to Airmen and see how passionate, excited and committed they are to doing what they do, it makes me optimistic about being and remaining the best Air Force in the world."

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