Monday, November 17, 2014

3rd AF commander visits RAF Lakenheath

by Airman 1st Class Erin R. Babis
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

11/14/2014 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, 3rd Air Force and 17th Expeditionary Air Force commander, completed his immersion tour of RAF Lakenheath Nov. 13.

Throughout his tour and during an all-call at the base theater, Roberson stressed the importance of Airmen innovating and improving systems already in place, to keep our Air Force the best Air Force in the world.

While visiting the 48th Component Maintenance Squadron, Roberson was particularly impressed with the way personnel had recently streamlined their work, maximizing efficiency and cutting costs.

Roberson paused momentarily to finds words to express his gratitude for the work the Airmen had put forth improving their methods when his wife, Cheryl Roberson, reminded him, "Light switch!"

The analogy, Roberson explained, was that people often don't think about all the hidden components that make a light switch work. The Airmen at RAF Lakenheath, and the 48th CMS specifically, are like all the inner workings that nobody sees behind the light switch. They make everything work.

"If there was one thing that I could emphasize to Airmen, I would have to say it would be to follow our core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do," Roberson said. "If you follow those core values, we're going to be able to accomplish our mission."

During his visit, Roberson frequently emphasized 'forward, ready, now.' With a forward presence and ready forces, the Air Force can accomplish its mission now. Roberson explained how this mantra applies at all levels, from the individual Airman to the greater Air Force.

"The 48th Fighter Wing's partnership here in England is critical in many ways, the most important being the relationships that each and every one of our Airmen develop with the local community that surrounds RAF Lakenheath," Roberson said. "If something were to really happen, it's going to be those relationships that are going to allow us to do things in a manner and a timeliness that cannot be accomplished from back in the United States."

Roberson stressed the critical role the 48th Fighter Wing plays in NATO and in this part of the world.

"RAF Lakenheath represents one of those strategic air power assets that is forward-based here in England," Roberson said. "Working together with our British partners and supporting all of our NATO allies, the 48th Fighter Wing stands ready every single day, 24/7, to support and defend our collective interests."

Roberson concluded the all-call by expressing how impressed he was with the Airmen of RAF Lakenheath and challenged everyone to continue striving for excellence through innovation.

"We are forward, ready, now and we are doing our nations bidding. I thank you for it," he said.

Before dismissing the all-call, Roberson rallied the Airmen with the Air Force call of "air power!"

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