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11th Air Force command chief shares wisdom

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Editor's note: The following is a question and answer session with Chief Master Sgt. Robert Moore, 11th Air Force's top enlisted Airman.

Arctic Sentry: What are the top three issues Alaska's airmen should be concerned with today?
Chief Moore: First and foremost, do what you do best--the mission. We are the most technically advanced and best-qualified Air Force in the world and in our history ... it shows by the advanced weapon systems we're acquiring. Secondly, take care of our most important weapon--our Airmen. Be the very best trainers, supervisors, leaders, mentors, commanders and wingmen you can for our Airmen (whether they be active duty, guard or reserve--officer, enlisted or civilian). Finally, don't get so bogged down into issues such as PCS freezes, Force Shaping, budget cuts or other new initiatives. Instead, be professional Airmen who try to learn as much as you can about all the Air Force issues affecting you and your missions and how you can support our leadership, commanders and Chief of Staff as he takes our service to the next level.

Arctic Sentry: As the 11th Air Force command chief, what is your immediate goal--what you hope to accomplish while in this position?
Chief Moore: My first goal is to learn everyone's mission and issues so I can help their commanders and senior enlisted leaders support our Airmen, whether assigned here or down range, and take care of families left behind. However, my job encompasses so much more than Air Force personnel assigned to the 11th Air Force. I also serve as the senior enlisted leader of Alaskan Command to support not only our Airmen, but also our soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen whether active duty, reserve or guard. As such, I've spent a lot of time working to build relationships with each major base's senior leaders to learn the issues.

Arctic Sentry: What should enlisted Airmen stationed at Eielson know about the Eleventh Air Force and its role in national defense?
Chief Moore: Team Iceman should realize the work they do is very relevant! We are the major force provider for our combatant commander at Pacific Command. As such, we need every Airman to ensure they're trained, postured and mentally and physically ready to deploy when called upon to do whatever duty asked of us. For example, recently I met one of your own who just returned from deployment, Tech. Sgt. Kurt Haselbach. He served as an Air Force member on a 33-person command and control cell for an Army installation, supporting Navy personnel on a Kuwait Navy base--now that's expeditionary!

Arctic Sentry: What is the most used tool the Air Force has given you?
Chief Moore: What a great question! It's hard to narrow it down to just one skill, trait or tool since the Air Force has given this simple Texas boy so many opportunities to learn. However, my most useful tool, our most useful tool really, is probably our ability and willingness to work as a team. I've learned to be a great follower of those more qualified than I (without regard to rank or experience). This in turn has taught me how to be a better leader and given me access to so many more tool, ideas and experiences. Don't be fooled--no single person accomplishes our mission by themselves.

Arctic Sentry: If you could give one piece of advice to first-term Airmen stationed in Alaska, what would it be?
Chief Moore: Bundle up, its cold out there! Just kidding. Seriously, get involved in the base and community to make it a better place to live, work and play. This place is a true gem and you've got incredible leadership that earnestly cares about you and a wonderful sense of community. Embrace the opportunities to make it better and be part of something a lot bigger--many of you are already doing this in huge ways.

Arctic Sentry: Personally, what is the most important lesson you have learned in military life so far?
Chief Moore: I've learned that our Air Force offers each of us--without any bias or prejudice of who you are, where you come from or what your experiences have been--amazing opportunities to excel and succeed in ways we never imagined. If we apply a positive, can-do attitude, there's simply nothing we cannot accomplish. The men and women of the Iceman Team are perfect examples of this every day and I'm proud to serve with you!