News>AFMC command chief sees progress, community in Edwards visit
Chief Master Sgt. Eric R. Jaren, Air Force Materiel Command command chief, addresses Edwards enlisted personnel in the Base Theater, Dec. 15. Chief Jaren and his wife toured the base Dec. 13 to Dec. 15. (Air Force photo by Edward Cannon)
Chief Master Sgt. Eric R. Jaren, Air Force Materiel Command command chief, and his wife Laura leave Airman’s Attic after viewing the updated interior for the first time since their departure from Edwards, Jan. 2010. Chief Jaren returned to base for a visit, Dec. 13 to Dec. 15. (Air Force photo by Chris Neill)
1/5/2011 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- In what felt like a homecoming, Chief Master Sgt. Eric R. Jaren, Air Force Materiel Command command chief, and his wife Laura visited the base Dec. 13 to 15 to witness first-hand the example-setting and innovative nature of Edwards.
"Edwards is very dear to both Laura and me," said Chief Jaren. "Coming back for a visit is like coming home."
Chief Jaren, who served as the 95th Air Base Wing command chief from August 2008 to January 2010, noticed progress and transformation during his visit, as well as a familiar sense of community.
The three-day tour included a visit to Airman's Attic, a project of personal interest to Chief Jaren during his tenure at Edwards. He worked closely with the Civilian-Military Support Group to have new carpet donated and installed. Since January 2010, when Chief Jaren left Edwards, the Airman's Attic has been updated with the new carpet, new paint and new computers.
"This is the fruit of your labors," said Senior Master Sgt. David Vanvlack, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Detachment 1, and member of the Top-3, as he surveyed the updated Airman's Attic with the chief.
"It looks wonderful," said Chief Jaren. "It's a huge effort and collaboration across the installation...to help impact the lives of all the Airmen on base. It's so great to see the whole community come together. It's about Airmen taking care of Airmen."
During his visit, Chief Jaren took the opportunity to address Edwards enlisted personnel. Speaking to a large audience at the Base Theater, he stressed physical fitness, career field development, education and suicide prevention. He also spoke about a subject on which Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy focuses: deliberate development, which consists of training, experience and education.
The education component was especially pertinent to Edwards.
"We're going to lead the education effort with what you guys did so well right here at Edwards," said Chief Jaren. "January 1, 2011 will begin AFMC's 'Year of the Community College of the Air Force,' modeled after Edwards' initiative."
He went on to explain that a team, led by Chief Master Sgt. Mark Brejcha, former 412th Test Wing command chief, was formed in 2009 at Edwards to create the "Year of the CCAF," emphasizing education to the base's enlisted personnel. Chief Jaren credits the success of the initiative to face-to-face communication.
"There were no e-mails, no flyers, it was all done one-on-one," said the chief. "When we finally could see the results, we found a 55 percent increase in degrees in one year at Edwards Air Force Base. I refer to that face-to-face model as 'The Edwards Model.' When I'm at the command I call it that to make sure they know where it started. These Airmen got educated, and they're going to continue to get educated. We need this."
Chief Jaren said he was impressed with the progress on base since he left-- from the renovation of the Base Exchange to the addition of "Retreat" at the end of the work day-- and looks to Edwards to meet the challenges of the times.
"Our Air Force is faced with great challenges," said Chief Jaren. "We need more ideas, more solutions. And we don't need to look any further for those new ideas than right here."