CSAF visits Al Udeid

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kia Atkins
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III met with Airmen and answered their questions about current Air Force issues during a visit Dec. 14, to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

During his visit, Welsh stopped by the Combined Air and Space Operations Center and attended a luncheon with Airmen before finishing the day with an all call.

“The number one reason I’m here is just to thank you,” Welsh said during an all call with Airmen. “You all don’t recognize how great you truly are. Everything you’ve done in this theater and in others is spectacular. You prove every day, that no one else can do it better.”

During the all call, the general posed a question to a young Airman in the audience regarding a hypothetical scenario involving the Airman’s mission-critical job. In reference to that scenario, Welsh asked, “Who is more important to the Air Force, me or you?”

The Airman responded, “I am the most important.”

The general firmly agreed, “There is no question that you are more important to the Air Force." He added, “Do me a favor. Never forget that. Never forget how critically important you are to what your unit does, to what this wing does, and what the United States Air Force does. Each of you is critically important to what we do and without you we wouldn’t be nearly as good of an Air Force.”

Welsh provided Airmen answers straight from the top about current hot topics including force shaping, sequestration, sexual assaults, changes to enlisted and officer performance reports and the importance of every Airman’s role in the Air Force.

“Sometimes Airmen get distracted from their missions because they are worrying about the budget and sequestration,” he said. “Airmen of all ranks are talking about these issues and that’s not the stuff you need to be concerned with. Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and I, are constantly fighting those battles for you, so that you all can fight the real battle.”

Wingmanship was another topic at the forefront of Welsh’s discussion with Airmen. He spoke about the importance of communication and why getting to know your fellow Airmen on a personal level is important for mission accomplishment.

“I believe that most of the problems we’re having in the Air Force right now could be worked out if we knew each other better,” Welsh said. “You have to understand that every Airman has a story and until you know that story, you can’t lead that Airman. The better we know each other, the better we will be at taking care of each other.”

Welsh continued to stress the importance of wingmanship by adding, “Never forget how critically important each of you are to the U.S. Air Force,” Welsh said. “Without all of you doing your missions every day, we wouldn’t be as great of an Air Force as we are, so value the talent of the Airmen beside you.”

Welsh's remarks left a lasting impact on those in attendance, including Airman 1st Class Daniel Turner, a 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron missile and space facility maintainer, the Airman who Welsh posed his question to during the all call.

“It’s great to hear that our Air Force leaders are looking out for us,” Turner said. “Most of the time we just see things from our perspective as Airmen and not necessarily the bigger picture, so I’m really grateful that Gen. Welsh took time to talk to us and let us know how they’re handling the issues we are facing.”

After his visit, Welsh and his wife, Betty, continued their trip by visiting deployed Airmen at bases throughout the U.S. Central Command area of operations.