INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
“Never underestimate the importance of your service in uniform, deployed here, right now,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein to Airmen during an all-call at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Dec. 23, 2018. “We can’t say thank you enough for your service, for your family and for what you are doing here when your Nation needs you most.”
As part of their tour to visit the Airmen “farthest forward,” Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright visited Incirlik AB to reiterate the significance of the base’s mission and to thank each Airman for the sacrifices they are making this holiday season.
“I think [our families] are thinking about you…and about all the things that make up Americana,” said Goldfein. “Here’s something they aren’t thinking about right now; they aren’t thinking about getting attacked in their hometown, [thanks to you].”
Throughout the visit, Goldfein and Wright witnessed firsthand how the Airmen of Team Titan protect America, and its allies, by deterring threats, maintaining the mission, building momentum and taking joint warfighting excellence to the next level.
Demonstrating their skills and expertise, defenders, maintainers and operators from the 39th Air Base Wing and 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron showcased how they protect assets, support current operations and increase lethality. At each stop, leadership thanked Airmen for their discipline in preparing to employ combat capabilities forward.
“In some ways, the great power competition comes together right here at Incirlik,” said Goldfein. “You are seeing not only the near-peer threat, you live it every day, and you are seeing the violent extremist threat and you are bridging the two.”
While it was readily apparent that Goldfein and Wright trust Incirlik AB Airmen to ensure America’s safety, it was also clear that they are doing everything they can to push resources to the squadrons, develop joint leaders and implement feedback.
“If you give us a tasker, if you give us feedback, if you identify things that don’t necessarily work for you as Airmen that don’t allow you to be as efficient and effective as possible in your jobs, we are going to get after it,” said Wright. “We are here today to squint with our ears to try and figure out the challenges and the areas where you want us to focus.”
Goldfein and Wright fielded questions from Airmen on how the Air Force is restoring readiness and helping streamline programs and processes to directly benefit the warfighter. From decreasing the amount of computer-based training to overhauling the promotion system and trying to keep families together, Air Force leadership is intent on making the lives of Airmen better.
“We get pretty excited about doing stuff that really impacts the lives, of not only you, but your families as well,” said Wright.
Through the dedication, selflessness, innovation and character of the highest-ranking general, down to the newest recruits, our Air Force is hyper-focused on staying combat ready while taking care of Airmen and their families.