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CMSAF visits Aviano, lays priorities, mission
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy talks to 31st Security Forces Squadron Airmen July 9 as part of his U.S. Air Forces in Europe visit. While at Aviano, Chief Roy visited the Radar Approach Control, Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, Air Mobility Command Terminal, 31st Medical Group clinic, 31st Civil Engineer Squadron compound and 31st Security Forces Squadron Armory. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nadine Barclay)
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 CHIEF MASTER SERGEANT OF THE AIR FORCE JAMES A. ROY
CMSAF visits Aviano, lays priorities, mission

Posted 7/9/2010   Updated 7/15/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


7/9/2010 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- The 16th chief master sergeant of the Air Force visited Aviano July 9, and laid out his priorities and mission as the highest enlisted Airman in the service.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy and his wife, Paula, visited the base to gain perspective on the installation's mission as well as meet some of the men and women of the base.

While at Aviano, Chief Roy visited with Airmen of a wide spectrum of Air Force specialties and grades including stops at Radar Approach Control, Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, Air Mobility Command Terminal, 31st Medical Group clinic, Airman Leadership School, 31st Civil Engineer Squadron compound and 31st Security Forces Squadron Armory where he participated in a guard mount.

In the Office of Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Chief Roy explained, "We look at the Air Force priorities, and what we focus on, first of all, is building and making sure that our Airmen are ready to fight in a joint and coalition team."

Another key focus area is deliberately developing Airmen, which includes three areas -- experience, education and training.

"It is critical that our Airmen have training and education to think with a global perspective and operations in an expeditionary environment," he said.

The third focus area, which "probably takes a little longer, is building resilience within our Airmen and families," Chief Roy said. "We should never forget our families and how much sacrifice they give to the mission."

This is one of the biggest challenges that Airmen face today, he said.

"We need to build resiliency before the Airman needs it, before the family needs it. We need to get them the right tools to be able to handle those extremely difficult situations," Chief Roy said.

He discussed the new Air Force fitness program implemented July 1. Some of the biggest changes in the program include performing fitness tests twice a year, mandatory passing scores for each component, and conducting these tests at central locations called fitness assessment cells.

"Mission readiness - that's the reason we do this," Chief Roy said. "We've got to make sure that our Airmen are absolutely ready and fit to fight."

He said he witnessed the importance of being physically fit during his visit of theater operations in Central Command.

"Our Airmen do an extremely good job," Chief Roy said. "They can do it at the pace that they do because they are fit, and they are ready."

Moreover, Chief Roy said being fit and ready can also help alleviate some of the financial burden that accompanies the Air Force's health care coverage.

"It is extremely costly to keep people healthy," he said. "If people are able to do this through physical training and a healthy lifestyle, we'll bring down our health care costs."

Currently, there are about 40,000 Airmen deployed around the world in any given day, with 30,000 of those Airmen deployed in Central Command theater of operations. In addition, another 160,000 Airmen are also employed by the combatant command every day.

Even with the drawdown of combat forces in Iraq, Chief Roy said he doesn't envision a change, for quite some time, in the deployment operations tempo for Airmen since U.S. forces are helping both Iraq and Afghanistan build and develop their militaries.

"Your Air Force is in this fight every single day," he said.

Visiting the U.S. Air Forces in Europe for the first time as CMSAF, Chief Roy lauded the command, including Aviano for taking care of Airmen and their families.

USAFE bases have family and community support programs that are "out of this world," where Airmen and families are embraced, he said.

"For all the men and women across USAFE, thank you for what you do, thank you for what you do for our United States and thank you for what you do for our NATO partners," Chief Roy said. "It is a team, and we will continue to be here for a long time, partnering with our allies. It is certainly something to see when all of us come together."



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