USecAF lands at Moody, visits Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ceaira Tinsley
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs
Under Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning visited Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Jan. 15, for the first time to learn more about the mission and experience it firsthand.

"This is my first visit to Moody and I wished I could stay longer (because) it's been a quick visit," Fanning said. "The Airmen here are fantastic. The community leaders and the volunteers that I've been able to meet since I've been here are as enthusiastic as I've seen at any base, anywhere else in the United States."

Although Fanning is well versed with Moody AFBs Airmen and mission, seeing it in person was different.

"There is nothing like seeing the mission firsthand," Fanning said. “I've (been able) to get out in the field, meet the Airmen and see what they're doing and where they're doing it. It just adds a level of understanding that you don't have by getting a brief in the Pentagon."

Fanning also said he believes seeing the Air Force's different missions firsthand give him more credibility.

"When you're trying to make a point or defend your case in the Pentagon (and) you can say to the big bosses, 'I was just out there and I saw it, here is what it is really like' it gives you a lot of credibility," Fanning said. "Coming out and meeting Airmen gives me the energy that I need to go back and work in the Pentagon, so it's a nice balance."

During his time at Moody AFB, Fanning attended the 81st Fighter Squadron reactivation ceremony. After the ceremony he flew in an A-29 Super Tucano, the newest aircraft here.

"The flight was amazing," Fanning said. "I have been looking forward to getting on the A-29 for some time now and it was a great trip, even with the (rainy) weather."

While Fanning may have been longing to ride an A-29, what really brought him to Moody was the new Afghan training mission to be done with the aircraft.

"It is a critical component to our ability to fully pull out of Afghanistan," Fanning said. "(It helps us) believe that they have a military capable of taking care of itself and providing the security that the country needs to move forward. They couldn't do it without the A-29 mission."

With two years down and two more to go until his term is over, Fanning said he has more goals that he hopes to accomplish while focusing on his top priority.

"My single biggest priority is to try and help the (Secretary of the Air Force) and the (Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force) get the Air Force back to a new normal," Fanning said.

According to Fanning, the new-normal that Airmen can look forward to in the future, is a stable one.

"As secretary James has said 'we are done with force structure changes,'" Fanning said. "We're the size that we targeted being. We don't have any more force shaping in our future. The single most important thing that I'd (like to) tell Airmen about 2015 is we're as small as we're going to get right now so they don't have to worry about that."