Military News

Friday, December 18, 2015

Morón Airmen welcome, engage with senior Air Force leaders

by Senior Airman Nicole Sikorski
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


12/15/2015 - MORÓN AIR BASE, Spain  -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody hosted an all-call at Morón Air Base, Dec. 7.

Welsh and Cody visited the air base to engage with Airmen of the 496th Air Base Squadron and thank them for their efforts providing combat expeditionary support at Morón, and to discuss the new changes across the Air Force.

"Thank you for everything you do," said Welsh. "From the time you've spent away from your families to the things you are doing for the nation here, the things you are doing for each other and the care you are taking for all of the people you support who come through here and Rota -- thank you.

"You have no idea how proud we are of you," added Welsh.

In addition to thanking those who support the joint mission at Morón, both leaders explained the importance of knowing your wingmen and how that affects mission readiness.
"Look around your unit," said Welsh. "Be the person that brings people together. You be the person that asks everybody's opinion. You be the one who wants to know what they think, how they feel, and what they contribute. Make sure their voices are heard."

Cody expanded on that thought by communicating the value of connecting with Airmen in the work place.

"It is a family business," he said. "I ask that you spend time getting to know each other's stories...You have to be able to look into someone's eyes and know whether or not they're having a bad day."

Cody also expressed that connecting with people could also lessen the frequency of sexual assault, suicides and other negative behaviors.

The leaders then discussed the changes to the enlisted evaluation system and the requirement for open and honest feedback.

Before the new changes, many Airmen were not receiving performance feedbacks, said Welsh. "This is a performance-based organization."

Welsh also explained the top performers were often being overlooked with the old performance reporting.  Conversely, the new system will allow leaders to quickly identify those top performers and give them an advantage towards promotion.

According to Capt. Justin Schneider, 496th Air Base Squadron contracting flight commander, the visit was much appreciated by Airmen at Morón.

"The biggest takeaway from the visit for me was hearing we have the power to make change," said Schneider, "Both Chief Cody and General Welsh reiterated how our suggestions for change are heard and often implemented.  We as Airmen and future leaders in the Air Force don't have to keep doing things the way they have always been done.  We should do what makes sense and allows us to return the focus on the things which matter the most, including taking care of our families, each other and ourselves."

With innovative Airmen stepping up to make necessary changes in the Air Force, a stronger future will be built, he added.

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