by Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
9/3/2015 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Defense
Secretary (Dr.) Ash Carter visited the base Aug. 26 to observe Red Flag
15-4 operations and speak to Airmen and coalition partners about the
future of the force and innovation.
While at Nellis Air Force Base, the secretary visited the 414th Combat
Training Squadron, toured the Combined Air Operations Center, visited
the Strike Aircraft Maintenance Unit to see F-15E Strike Eagle
maintenance Airmen at work, and held an all-call at the Lightning AMU
"It was a huge honor for us at Strike AMU that he would take the time
out of his day to invest such a personal interest in us," said Capt.
Christopher Bright 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Strike AMU
officer in charge. "He seemed like someone who generally cares."
During the secretary's visit he actively sought out Airmen and had them explain to him their role in the squadron.
"Every time I come here I'm so impressed," Carter said. "I'm impressed by how realistic the training that is done here is."
Red Flag, one of the most advanced training programs in the world, is a
realistic combat training exercise involving the air forces of the
United States and its allies, is coordinated at Nellis AFB and conducted
on the vast bombing and gunnery ranges of the Nevada Test and Training
The secretary said as a country, America's military is in a period of
transitioning to a full-spectrum defense against less traditional
"We need to look ahead to a full spectrum of threats," Carter said.
Before departing, he emphasized that training -- like what happens on
Nellis AFB -- is what moves the U.S. forward and away from a narrower
"You here at Nellis AFB are at the center of America's military
transition to full spectrum," Carter said. "The new technology like the
F-35 and all the other stuff like, space, cyber, electronic warfare, and
all the other technology represented here is an ingredient of that
transition, but the most important ingredient to it is you.
"All of this doesn't matter without you, without skilled people who know
how to operate, who know how to maintain, and who know how to imagine
future operations. Without you the technology doesn't get us anywhere.
At the end of the day the most important ingredient in the finest
fighting force the world has ever known is you."