SecAF visits RAF Mildenhall

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Victoria H. Taylor
  • 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James visited RAF Mildenhall Airmen July 16, as a part of an overall trip to U.S. Air Forces in Europe-United Kingdom.

James made the trip to see firsthand the units at RAF Mildenhall, to learn their history, to meet with Airmen and to gain a more in-depth understanding of  Mildenhall's mission capabilities.

During her visit, James received an overall briefing about RAF Mildenhall's mission in the U.K. from Brig. Gen. Doug Cox, USAFE-UK director. Cox highlighted the U.S. Air Force's commitments to its NATO allies.

"No single nation can confront today's challenges alone," Cox said. "The U.S. and European partnership has been forged over seven decades and we will continue to build upon that foundation."

As the visit progressed, James met with Team Mildenhall Airmen during a luncheon. She highlighted several key topics with the Airmen in attendance, including fostering a positive work environment.

"No matter what level of supervision we have, no matter what level of leader we are, it's incumbent on all of us to provide a climate where everybody is respected," James said. "That means focus on the core values of integrity, service and excellence."

Following lunch, James visited multiple locations on RAF Mildenhall including the 100th Security Forces Squadron, the 100th Maintenance Group and the 352nd Special Operations Group to learn more about how Mildenhall Airmen fit into U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa's mission of "Forward, Ready, Now."

Toward the end of her visit, she held an all call and talked about the impacts Mildenhall Airmen are having on the mission.

"All of you at Mildenhall are making a huge difference. You make a difference in your individual tasks and your immediate team," said James. "But more importantly, you're making a difference for the United States, for our national security and for the world."

Also during the all call, the Secretary spoke about the challenges the Air Force is facing and what she has planned for the future. James mentioned while she and other Air Force leaders are constantly working to balance budget and resources, she reassured Mildenhall Airmen that people are her top priority.

"Great organizations are fueled by great people," James said. "I don't care how good your technology is. I don't care how cool your satellites or your planes are, if you don't have the right people who are thinking through the development, the training and the execution--the doing--then at the end of the day you have nothing."

James concluded by saying she is happy being part of an organization fueled by passionate and innovative people.

"I'm just so very proud to be the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force and to count myself in your midst and be amongst you. You are awesome Airmen."