by Senior Airman Brittain Crolley
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
9/11/2015 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- U.S.
Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, visited
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Sept. 8-9, to further
immerse himself in the 4th Fighter Wing's mission and one of its most
prominent initiatives, the "Make It Better" program. The "Make It
Better" campaign directly contributes to multiple quality of life
programs across the installation.
During the event, the general received briefings on base programs,
visited numerous Airmen around the installation and held an all call to
discuss his priorities and vision for ACC and Seymour Johnson AFB.
"I've been thoroughly impressed with some of the things the 4th Fighter
Wing has done to take care of our Airmen and their families," Carlisle
said. "The Make It Better campaign is a template we can use across the
Air Force to further invest in the great men and women we have in our
Another positive trend Carlisle noticed in the wing's efforts to take
care of Airmen and their families was the rapid development in the Key
Spouse program, which has nearly doubled its numbers to more than 160
members during the past year. As an all-volunteer force, key spouses
dedicate countless hours to making sure Airmen and their families are
well taken care of, especially when service members are separated from
The program falls directly in line with one of Carlisle's main priorities he set upon becoming ACC commander.
"It's our job to take care of our Airmen and their families," Carlisle
said in a note to the men and women of ACC. "Our Airmen are our
asymmetric advantage over any adversary that we may face, so we must
make sure they're resilient and have everything they need to face the
unique challenges of military life."
Carlisle also took time to visit the source of Strike Eagle airpower,
the base's F-15E formal training units, to learn more about Exercise
Razor Talon, the 4th FW's massive, monthly air-sea exercise.
The exercise incorporates assets from multiple bases along the East
Coast to promote joint service synergy and expand on the air-sea battle
With the divestiture of the A-10, Carlisle said he believes the Strike
Eagle could soon see an increase in roles, from combat search and rescue
to airborne forward air control missions, which will keep it in the Air
Force's arsenal for "a long time to come."
"The F-15E community is the bedrock of our ability to do our mission
anywhere in the world," Carlisle said. "It's an airplane that can
survive and operate in a contested environment, and as we continue to
modernize it and we look at avionics upgrades and the weapons that we're
developing for the airplane, we're going to continue to take advantage
of it. The F-15E, with its capabilities, is so much a key to our
That future, Carlisle acknowledged, holds a lot of uncertainties. He
said although ACC is currently in a good state, he fully recognizes that
it is spread thin, and the demand for combat air power far exceeds the
supply our Airmen can provide.
"We simply can't continue at the pace we're currently working at," he said.
The visit concluded with an all call to discuss these upcoming
challenges and changes, but moreover, Carlisle wanted to thank Seymour
Johnson Airmen for their service and sacrifice as well as their
continued excellence in completing the mission.
"To the 4th Fighter Wing and all the men and women doing their job, and
their families, thank you for what you're doing. You're great Americans,
you're great Airmen, and I can't thank you enough. We've got a lot of
challenges ahead of us, and we need you."