Tuesday, March 04, 2014

AFGSC commander visits Malmstrom

by Senior Airman Cortney Paxton
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

3/4/2014 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, visited Malmstrom Air Force Base Feb. 26 in to promote the recent Force Improvement Program initiative.

His one-day visit included a visit with Col. Robert Stanley, 341st Missile Wing commander, meetings with group commanders and chiefs, as well as squadron commanders, a lunch with company grade officers and a Wing all call.

During his all call, Wilson highlighted several points; each one represented by a different photo. Every topic was designed to help the Airmen of Wing One better themselves.

The first in the series of photos was a badge representing a school he attended for six months - a school he said gave him the foundation of what the Air Force believes, which is to be "humble, approachable and credible," he said. "You need to be an expert, you need to be a leader [and] you need to be ready... That's what our Air Force is about."

He also spoke of a certain breed of dog - the bulldog.

"I'm a tenacious little bulldog and I am just not going to let go of that bone," he said. "I am relentless in making sure we get after something, that we're not going to let go of that bone and that we're going to make every place that we are associated with better."

Continuing on with the idea of becoming better, the general spoke of the importance of life-long learning and the necessity of reading, pointing out that, "Unless we keep trying to learn, we become irrelevant to those we're trying to lead," he said.

Wilson then spoke to the members of the nuclear enterprise as a team, showing them a photo of a goldfish swimming in a light bulb reminding them that the goldfish is stuck in the same kind of environment as the nuclear enterprise - a transparent one. He reminded all Airmen that they are held to the highest standards in the Air Force because many people at different levels are constantly looking at them to operate and maintain the world's most powerful weapon system.

The general also spoke of safety, the delegations of jobs and the need for high expectations. He compared the talents of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb to the accomplishments of the nuclear enterprise and Air Force in general.

"Babe was a machine," Wilson said. "When he stepped up, there was a pretty good chance he was going to knock one out of the park, but there was a better chance that he was going to strikeout... I'm good with striking out - that's what makes us better. It is okay to fail... because occasionally we're going to hit a grand slam. Ty Cobb was known for hits, getting on base and singles - that's how we win games... That's what we're going to do - it's part of this Force Improvement Program - we're going to hit some singles and get some positive momentum. Occasionally we're going to hit one and knock it out of the park, and occasionally, we're going to... [swing] and miss, and I'm okay with that."

His final photos emphasized the need for teamwork, courage by Airmen to stand up for what they believe in and the importance of building and nurturing positive relationships with each other at all levels of command. His very last photo was the Air Force symbol, reminding all Airmen of the importance of the Air Force core values and the need to live according to all three of them.

"Everything those pictures stood for from Jimmy Doolittle with his courage and commitment, with that heritage behind us, with that history behind us, with the amazing history in this room - that's our Air Force," he said. "That's our Air Force's core values. You folks ... make our mission happen every day, and that makes me really proud wearing the same uniform as you."

Wilson's visit to Malmstrom ended with a meeting addressing members in the 13N Air Force Specialty Code career fields, and one final message to the Airmen of Wing One.

"Thank you very much for what you do every day for our Air Force, our nation and Air Force Global Strike Command," he said.

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