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CSAF visits RAF Lakenheath during holidays

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Charles Welty
  • 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. visited 48th Fighter Wing Airmen to thank them for standing watch during the holiday season, Dec. 21.

The visit allowed Air Force senior leaders to meet with Airmen and Guardians around U.S. European Command, along with NATO allies, who stand watch 24/7 year-round and show appreciation for their efforts and sacrifice.

“We’re all part of NATO… part of this trip was to go into the Baltics and see some of our NATO partners,” Brown said. “If we really want to work together as a team, we need to think about how we build a team before we get into the conflict or in the crisis. Too often we build U.S. first and then think about how we bring in our allies and partners. We [need to] reverse that.”

During an all-call with 48th FW Airmen, Brown emphasized his priority of accelerating change within the Air Force and why it is so crucial.

“Good enough today, will fail tomorrow,” he said. “When I think about the Air Force, I have a responsibility as your chief to drive change … to make sure we’re prepared for the future, no matter what challenge comes our way and that’s my focus.”

As part of accelerating change, Brown expressed his focus on giving Airmen access to tools they need to accomplish their mission effectively.

“I will do everything in my power as your chief of staff to make sure we have the capabilities to do the mission the nation has asked us to do,” Brown said. “We do not play to lose. We are the strongest Air Force in the world, the most respected Air Force in the world and we want to keep it that way … and my job is to make sure you have the tools and resources to make that happen.”

Another point Brown discussed was how to improve Air Force culture. Specifically regarding how Airmen build resilience and ensure their wingmen are doing the same.

“Some of us need to see a mental-health provider because we need that support, but many of us just need someone to talk to,” Brown said. “Somebody that we can lean on when things are getting a little rough. The question is what do you do to make yourself resilient as you move forward and how do you help the Airman to your left and to your right and make sure they’re being taken care of?”

Before his departure, Brown opened the floor for questions and proceeded to reiterate his appreciation for the wing and the personnel stationed here. Additionally, he passed on thanks to their families for supporting them as they stand watch alongside NATO allies and partners.