by Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey
432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
3/13/2015 - CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada -- U.S.
Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, his wife
Mrs. Gillian Carlisle, and Chief Master Sgt. Steve McDonald, ACC
Command Chief, paid a visit to Las Vegas and Creech AFB, Nevada, March
While visiting the area, the trio took the opportunity to meet with
Airmen and families, say 'thank you' to those serving, and talk about
the successes and challenges of the Air Force's remotely piloted
The first stop during their two-day visit was a family forum held at the
local YMCA to address issues concerning the families and dependents of
the Creech Airmen - a key topic throughout the two-day long visit. Items
up for discussion included childcare options, transportation, medical
care, manning and work schedules, and security issues. Carlisle joined
Col. James Cluff, 432nd Wing Commander, Col. Richard Neal, 799th Air
Base Group Commander and other leadership members took note of the
issues, answered questions to the best of their abilities, and promised
to elevate new issues and ideas to higher Air Force leadership.
Referencing an uplifting story of resiliency, Carlisle requested that
spouses stay engaged with each other to connect with those who may be
experiencing similar challenges and continue to express their concerns
to base leadership in order to better the entire Team Creech family.
McDonald said getting engaged and staying engaged with the families is a
top priority for himself, as well as for the general and his wife.
"It is important for the general, Mrs. Carlisle, and I to be here today
to engage with the families and to have a discussion," McDonald said.
"We need you to continue to talk to us and tell us what the challenges
are, and the one thing I would personally ask of families, is to
continue to have faith in the leadership of our Air Force. They know,
they understand, they care, and they're trying to do everything they can
to meet these challenges."
The challenges discussed with families tied in closely with three
specific priorities Carlisle outlined during an all call on base at
Creech the day after the family forum. His main priories for ACC include
winning today's fight, building the best Air Force in the world, and
taking care of Airmen and their families. He said setting the right
priorities at all levels is essential.
"At all levels, from the Secretary of Defense to the chief and myself,
to General Nowland, to Colonel Cluff, to group commanders, to squadron
commanders; all the way down we've got to set priorities, because some
things are quite simply not going to get done," he said. "We have more
requirements and demands then we have money, manpower, or time ... I
cannot think of an enterprise that is in more demand than yours."
In discussing winning today's fight, Carlisle asked the Airmen to think
about the breadth and depth of what ACC does and how the RPA community
supports the command. As the largest command in the Air Force with about
100,000 people, ACC is responsible for five core functions including
air superiority, global precision attack, global integrated
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, command and control, and
"[We're experiencing] a different environment, a different way of war,
an evolution of how we fight," Carlisle said. "The RPA community is
something that we do, and we do it better than anybody in the world."
Looking at the strategy moving forward, Carlisle acknowledged the Air
Force is facing difficult times and stated that in order to win today's
fight everyone has to be prepared to do the mission.
"The nation is asking each and every one of you to continue to do what
you are doing today," he said. "You have been doing the 24/7, 365-day
mission for almost two decades. My job is to make sure that any Airman I
ask to do a mission is trained, ready, and equipped to do the mission I
am asking them to do."
Carlisle also said the 432nd Wing is a topic of conversation nearly
every day since he took command of ACC in November 2014, and he
applauded the Airmen for their creativity and ingenuity and for setting
the pace to win today's fight.
"The leadership in the Air Force has turned all of you lose to figure
out better ways to do things and you've already done that," he said. "My
hat's off to you. If you look at the evolution of the platform from
what it was to what it is today, almost every one of those ideas came
from folks like you. Innovate, set priorities, and I've got your back."
Near the conclusion of the call, Carlisle opened the floor for questions
during which time McDonald took the opportunity to ask the general if
he knew of any Airmen who exemplified Air Force standards.
Carlisle responded by summoning Staff Sgt. James Williamson, 432nd Wing,
to the stage, where he was promoted to technical sergeant under the
Stripes for Exceptional Performers program.
"There are some cool things I get to do in the Air Force, but this is
the coolest," he said. "Congratulations James, we are awfully proud of
you. It is incredible and definitely well deserved ... Thank you for
what you do."
In parting, Carlisle said he loves what he does, and the vast importance
of the Air Force's various missions is just one of the many reasons he
has stayed in the service for 40 years.
"You don't always see it ... But I guarantee you that what you do
changes lives," he said. "It changes the world and it defends what our
nation stands for, which is a beacon of hope throughout this world."