JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.-- --
A few weeks back, I met with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF), Gen Dave Goldfein, along with 265 other Total Force Wing Commanders (Guard, Reserve and Active Duty) in Washington D.C. We were able to talk about some of the topics he has recently emphasized such as the importance of Squadrons in today’s Air Force, being mindful of Airmen’s time, and the Joint warfighter. Gen Goldfein published a series of short articles and sent them directly to Airmen through email with his thoughts on each of the topics above.
I am proud of the things we are doing as Team McChord that tie directly into the CSAF’s vision for our Air Force. Our squadrons truly are the beating heart of the Air Force. Our squadrons are doing things to make our Air Force better, safer, and more efficient at the tactical level. Whether it is finding a way to reorganize bench stock or protecting communications equipment, we must continually empower Airmen to generate the ideas that save time and cut costs.
When work tasks are shortened through innovation, it gives time back to our Airmen. Another effort we are pursuing at the Wing is pushing back on non-mission related requests. This should be transparent to most, but we are often asked to provide support or Points of Contact for various agencies outside the Wing. Command Chief Master Sergeant Tico Mazid and I are very aware of the manpower strain that many of our units face on a daily basis. Just because we have done something a certain way in the past does not mean we will continue in perpetuity, especially when there’s no legal or Air Force requirement and it doesn’t directly impact our mission.
Another attempt to give time back to Airmen was illustrated in the Additional Duty Reduction letter signed by the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff. The squadron commanders as well as leadership from the 62d Airlift Wing and the 627th Air Base Group will be discussing our implementation plan for Team McChord’s additional duty reduction in the coming weeks. As we shed some of these duties or consolidate them to the Groups, Wing, or even the Joint Base, it should give our Airmen more time to focus on being mission ready or having additional time to spend with friends and family.
Being assigned to this Joint Base has many advantages. The resources available to our Airmen because of JBLM’s large population are astounding. We get to see and work with our sister services every day and have many opportunities to train in garrison alongside them. There are several large exercises planned this year and many are with our partner units or the Joint Base. I encourage Team McChord Airmen to take advantage of these opportunities to learn. On a traditional Air Force base, we would be sending personnel TDY to train with the Army or Navy or we’d get just-in-time training for a deployment on how to operate with the other services. I’ve said it before, but having a clear understanding of joint operations before getting deployed allows us to focus on the mission when it is most critical.
Today’s Air Force is on a positive trajectory. I am excited to continue to serve alongside some fantastic Airmen and equally impressive servicemembers from all branches of our military. Thank you all for what you do every day as we serve our nation…together, the McChord Way…Excellence, Innovation, Respect!