by Master Sgt. Latisha Cole
Ninth Air Force Public Affairs
6/25/2015 - SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Chief
Master Sgt. Frank H. Batten III reported for his first day of duty as
the Ninth Air Force command chief at Shaw Air Force Base, May 16, 2015.
As the command chief, Batten is responsible for advising the commander
and staff on matters influencing the health, welfare, morale and
effective utilization of assigned personnel.
While he is new to the position, he isn't new to the Ninth Air Force or
to serving as an Air Force command chief. In his 27 years in the Air
Force, he has fulfilled command chief positions in his last three
Batten arrived here from Ramstein Air Base, Germany where he served as
the 86th Airlift Wing command chief for the past year. Batten said his
previous assignments helped to strengthen his time management skills and
prepare him for this expansive command, as he anticipates traveling
throughout the Ninth Air Force's area of responsibility in order to
connect with the Airmen.
"One of the most rewarding things about the jobs I've had is being able
to travel and see the phenomenal Airmen who are out at the many
locations all over the globe doing great things," Batten said. "It's
great to be able to see some of these missions and find out where I can
connect and plug in to help them with mission readiness and taking care
of the Airmen and their families."
Ninth Air Force consists of eight active-duty wings, three direct
reporting units and 16 National Guard and Air Force Reserve units with
nearly 30,000 personnel. Although it will be quite challenging for
Batten to visit everyone, he said he values being able to hear the
concerns directly from the Airmen.
"Putting your eyes on the locations, on the issues and the Airmen are
very important," Batten explained. "I can get an email about something
but it's not the same as actually seeing it or hearing it straight out
of one of our Airman's mouth."
Batten is scheduled to travel throughout the year. When he is out and
about visiting the different organizations, he encourages the command
teams to aggressively point out shops that are creating new solutions to
solve problems and also those shops faced with unique challenges so
they can be recognized and assisted.
"Major General Polumbo [Ninth Air Force commander] and I do a great job
determining which units to visit but if there's a success, an innovative
practice that was just put into place, an issue they are facing in
regards to organize, train and equip or something they need help with,
that's where they should take us," Batten said. "That's where we'll be
able to put our eyes on it and when we are talking to our staff and
higher headquarters, we can speak smartly on the issues and provide
The command chief recognizes Airmen are facing several challenges with
changes to the enlisted force structure, the enlisted evaluation system
and the personnel system. He believes these changes are for the
betterment of the Airmen and the Air Force. He plans to keep the
information flowing up and down the chain to settle some of the anxiety
and help Airmen continue to direct their attention on the mission of the
Airmen should just be focused on the mission, Batten said. They should
come to work every day and do the job to the best of their ability.
Hopefully while they're doing that, he said, they're having a little bit
of fun and enjoying themselves and what they do.
"I want Airmen to know that their leaders are trying to do everything
possible to take care of them and do what's right," Batten added.