It's all about the Airmen: 'We are not supporting this war, we are in this war'.Gen. T. Michael Moseley Teed Michael Moseley, KBE, is the current Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. He assumed the position during a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base on September 2, 2005. cares about Airmen and the jobs they do for their country.
I discovered this during a whirlwind whirlwind, revolving mass of air resulting from local atmospheric instability, such as that caused by intense heating of the ground by the sun on a hot summer day. tour with the chief of staff to bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait in February.
It was great to get an invitation to accompany the chief, though I didn't know what to expect. It wasn't long before I realized this would be a very educational journey.
As we crossed the Atlantic on the plane ride over, a passenger asked the general why he'd planned this trip.
I'll be stuck in Washington [D.C.] for Congressional hearings soon," he replied. "So, I wanted to take this opportunity to visit our deployed Airmen while I could."
This theme would remain constant throughout the trip. Because for General Moseley it's all about the Airmen. At each stop, there were the obligatory tours and meetings with base leaders and the typical meet-and-greet courtesies. But I could tell the general couldn't wait to meet Airmen. He was truly in his element mingling with Airmen or addressing them in groups ranging from a few dozen to a few thousand.
For example, at each stop he ate his meals with Airmen. The general would ask them about their jobs and families. And he gave them a chance to ask him questions or voice a concern or opinion. It was also when the general got candid can·did
1. Free from prejudice; impartial.
2. Characterized by openness and sincerity of expression; unreservedly straightforward: In private, I gave them my candid opinion. answers to questions about the host of issues the Air Force faces. And he asked Airmen what they felt bout the new physical training uniform and longer deployments. I could tell the general really valued the answers.
As he hit one base after another, and no matter the audience's size, General Moseley's message was the same: "You [Airmen] are my priority."
At the first stop, I took up my position at the rear of the crowd and waited patiently, along with several hundred Airmen, for the general to begin speaking. I didn't know what he was going to say, but I couldn't wait to hear it. Having spent the better part of a day on the plane with the four-star, I already knew enough to expect this speech to be a good one.
The general started by thanking the Airmen for their service and sacrifice. But it wasn't a hollow homage from an out-of-touch general just going through the motions. I sensed the heartfelt gratitude that was as sincere as it was fervent.
Then he launched into the heart of his speech. He outlined three priorities he felt were important to the Air Force: Continuing the war on terrorism Terrorist acts and the threat of Terrorism have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the usa patriot act , recapitalizing and modernizing the Air Force's aging fleet and ensuring a sound quality of life for Air Force people.
General Moseley said the Air Force is the most feared and most powerful component of the U.S. military and that each and every Airman should be proud to be a part of the service.
"Do you think Beijing worries about our Army or our Navy when they lie in their beds at night?" the general asked. "No, they worry about our Air Force--our fighters and our bombers--that can drop thousands of bombs right on their heads.
"That's the power of this Air Force, to strike fear into the hearts of our enemies before we ever have to engage them," he said.
Still, the war on terrorism is a different fight.
"I believe this is an existential ex·is·ten·tial
1. Of, relating to, or dealing with existence.
2. Based on experience; empirical.
3. Of or as conceived by existentialism or existentialists: fight," the general said. "We are in a fight to preserve our way of life against a group of radical people who would like to take that away from us."
This will not be an easy fight either, he said. It will take many more years to stabilize the region, and Airmen will be a part of the fight to the end.
For this reason, it's important for every Airman to be a competent, capable warfighter.
"We are not supporting this war, we are in this war," General Moseley said.
The general touched on deployment issues, including making 100 percent of the force deployment capable and ready and finding ways to limit the number of deployment short-falls due to medical concerns.
He also told Airmen how he plans to replace the Air Force's aging fleet of bombers, fighters and tankers.
"We can't continue to operate with aircraft that have been around since Korea and Vietnam," the general said.
Despite these limitations, he relayed his belief that the Air Force should never surrender its quality of life standards.
"The other services make fun of us for being treated so well," he said. "I'm OK with that. There's nothing wrong with taking care of your people."
Then he thanked the Airmen again, telling them he was going before Congress to fight to get what the Air Force needs.
It was a good speech. It was open, honest and direct--exactly what Airmen deployed to a combat zone should expect. I didn't feel the general said what he did because he thought it was what Airmen wanted to hear. I believe he meant every word.
During the rest of the trip, the general met thousands of Airmen, and I would hear his speech many more times. But every time he was passionate and sincere.
On my plane ride home to San Antonio San Antonio (săn ăntō`nēō, əntōn`), city (1990 pop. 935,933), seat of Bexar co., S central Tex., at the source of the San Antonio River; inc. 1837. , I thought about the trip, the places I visited, the people I met and of the opportunities I had to speak with the man who leads the world's most powerful air and space force.
I came to the conclusion that General Moseley really does care about Airmen. Not in that "it's-election-time-so-I-like-the-military" way so many of us are used to putting up with.
His message was clear: "You are the backbone of the world's finest World's Finest may refer to:
The Air Force is in good hands--hands that care about where we are going, how we are getting there and how best to do both.
story by Staff Sgt. Matthew Bates Matthew Bates (born 10 December 1986) is an English professional football player who currently plays as a defender for Middlesbrough.
He is a product of the Middlesbrough youth system and first appeared for the club in 2004. , photos by Donna Perry
Staff Sgt. Matthew Bates has been a military journalist A US Service member or Department of Defense civilian employee providing photographic, print, radio, or television command information for military internal audiences. See also command information. for nine years. He is from Grand Rapids Grand Rapids, city (1990 pop. 189,126), seat of Kent co., SW central Mich., on the Grand River; inc. 1850. The second largest city in the state, it is a distribution, wholesale, and industrial center for an area that yields fruit, dairy products, farm produce, , Mich., and has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He currently works at the Air Force News Agency in San Antonio.