AFMC Command News

Bunch visits Tinker, prioritizes COVID operations, inclusion

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Ashlyn K. Paulson
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., commander, Air Force Materiel Command, visited Tinker Air Force Base June 29-30 to witness the new operational environment and impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on mission activities.

“I’m very proud of our warfighter’s innovative spirit in relation to COVID-19,” said Bunch. “From returning to full capacity, finding new ways to clean tools, and rearranging shifts, it’s clear that Tinker stepped up and got the mission done while staying safe.”

To gain an in-depth understanding of the operational changes, Bunch visited AFMC Airmen working at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex and 448th Supply Chain Management Wing. He was also briefed on the activities of the 76th Commodities, Propulsion and Aircraft Maintenance Groups, accompanied by AFMC Command Chief Master Sgt. Stanley C. Cadell. 

“All elements of resiliency are being stretched at this time,” said Cadell. “Spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally, it’s mission-imperative to remain focused across the board so we can adapt as needed to meet the mission at hand.”

An additional priority of this trip was monitoring the pulse of diversity and inclusion at Tinker.

Bunch and Cadell met with several Airmen and squadron directors to discuss the importance of racial equality.

“We have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, and create an environment where every Airman has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Bunch. “This is not a one-time conversation, and it is going to take tenacity and perseverance to learn from one another to gain a better understanding of current barriers limiting this potential.”

Topics included current practices that are working well, areas that need improvement and brainstorming potential changes for the future.

“It’s important to acknowledge that no Airman, uniform or non-uniformed, comes from the same background,” said Cadell. “We’ve acknowledged that backgrounds are different, but we haven’t listened to the experiences that occurred. By listening to the experiences that shaped (an individual’s) background, we can grow as an Air Force and gain more knowledge on how to better address this problem.”

Overall, Bunch said the visit demonstrated Team Tinker’s resiliency and dedication to mission during a time of need and hardship for many.

“Without Team Tinker, the Air Force would not succeed,” said Bunch. “There would be no engines, airplanes, commodities or supplies. During these trying times, Tinker did not back down.”

This is the second time Bunch has visited Tinker since taking command in May 2019.