Saying thanks to JBER airmen for your service

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - 10:44
  • Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein presents exemplary Airmen with a challenge coin at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Nov. 10. During his Pacific tour, Goldfein visited JBER and shared his priorities of revitalizing squadrons, strengthening joint leaders and teams, and multi-domain command and control. (US Air Force Photo by Alejandro Pena)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON — Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and his spouse, Dawn, visited Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska at the tail end of a two-week trip to various Pacific Air Forces installations on Nov. 10 .

“[The trip] was an opportunity to not only get out and see Airmen, but also make international connections, and reinforce our commitment to our alliances and our partnerships in the region,” Goldfein said.

This was Goldfein’s first visit to the Final Frontier as Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

“The spirit you see here at team JBER is alive and well,” he said. “We have a great joint team up here, doing the nation’s business in the northern tier.”

It was standing room only, as Airmen of all ranks attended Goldfein’s all call hosted at JBER’s Hangar 1.

“To stand there on the stage and represent the Airmen who signed up to serve is a real honor and privilege,” Goldfein said.

There were myriad topics discussed during the event. One in particular was the revitalization of Air Force squadrons.

“The squadron, I believe is the heartbeat of the Air Force,” Goldfein said. “It’s where Airmen and families thrive. It’s where we actually inculcate the culture of being an Airman. It’s where we succeed or fail in the mission.”

Words of the late Army Air Corps Gen. William “Billy” Mitchell, cited by some as the father of the Air Force, came to Goldfein’s mind when discussing Alaska’s geographic importance.

“This is some of the most strategic landscape on the planet,” Goldfein said. “Whether you want to talk about its location relative to all the challenges that we face as a nation — or the global challenges we need to be thinking about as a military, or whether you want to talk about this incredible natural treasure called JPARC (Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex), the largest range we have for the business of doing live training…Alaska matters.”

Goldfein went on to express his gratitude for all Alaskans, not just service members.

“I give a lot of credit to the local community who embraces Airmen and families and makes them feel part of the community. To all of the folks that live, and work and embrace our Airmen and families — my message as chief is to say, ‘Thank you.’”

In closing, Goldfein reflected on the Air Force core value of service before self, and equated it to the military family.

“I think it applies as much to our families as it does to those of us who are privileged to wear the uniform. To all of our families – thank you.”

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