KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
The 18th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, Kaleth O. Wright, met with Airmen from Kunsan Air Base during his visit to the Pacific theatre June 6.
During the visit Wright took a first-hand look at base operations and infrastructure to learn exactly how the 8th Fighter Wing executes its mission within the U.S. Pacific Air Forces area of operations.
Wright expressed his concern about the aggressive destabilizing actions by regional powers, but also confidence in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. allies who play a pivotal role in maintaining peace both on a regional and global scale. He communicated the importance of the Wolf Pack Airmen here and their part in supporting this important role.
“Our long term and strategic goals are to maintain our part in upholding the armistice and making sure that we are good partners to South Korea,” said Wright. “We [have to] uphold our commitments to Pacific Command and this region and I know our Air Force and the Wolf Pack are committed to doing that.”
With the high-operations tempo at Kunsan, Wright reinforced the need for Airmen to take care of themselves and each other to remain ready to fight tonight.
“Every Airman needs to be laser-focused on their mission,” he said. “Whether you are a logistician, a maintainer, a personalist or a public affairs specialist the key is to be really good at what you do. Place the focus on those Comprehensive Airman Fitness pillars making sure that you are physically, mentally, spiritually and socially fit so that you can work your way through the high-ops tempo and all the things that a one year assignment at Kunsan brings.”
The operations tempo, coupled with the majority of Airmen away from their families and personal support units, creates a taxing and stressful environment here.
Wright touched on those points and what he wants to leave behind as a legacy for future Airmen to carry forward after his career is over.
“At the end of my tenure I would like for Airmen to be, first and foremost, resilient,” he said. “I want them to feel like they can cope with all the things we throw at them in the Air Force; the high ops tempo, dealing with family issues and all of the challenges that come with being an Airman in today’s Air Force.”
Remolding the foundation of the Air Force and sustaining that groundwork is at the top of Wrights priority list. Not only does he want Airmen to be resilient, but he wants great leaders to shape future generations.
“I also want our Airmen when I leave this Air Force to be well led,” said Wright. “So that means I have to continue to put programs in place to produce great leadership particularly for our enlisted Airmen and SNCOs; and of course I want them to be the best trained Airmen that we have in the world. If I can make sure that I leave you an Air Force with Airmen that are ready to fight, that are ready for life and that are ready to lead, I think you [all] will be in good hands.”
Wright’s visit to Kunsan was just one of multiple stops in the Pacific theatre and aids him when advocating for positive changes and sustainment regarding the unique conditions Airmen operate under on the Korean Peninsula.