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New AF under secretary visits Joint Base San Antonio
Under Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning, Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, and Command Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, have breakfast with enlisted personnel May 17 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The under secretary is responsible for Air Force matters on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force to include the organizing, training, equipping, and providing for the welfare of its Total Force Airmen and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske) (released)
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New AF under secretary visits Joint Base San Antonio

Posted 5/23/2013   Updated 5/23/2013 Email story   Print story


by Alex Delgado
JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs

5/23/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Eric Fanning visited with Airmen at Joint Base San Antonio May 16 and 17 during his first base trip as the under secretary of the Air Force.

His two-day visit to JBSA included stops at Randolph, Lackland and Fort Sam Houston, where he met with Airmen and got an overview of the military operations taking place in San Antonio.

"What a great way to begin my career in the Air Force by witnessing firsthand the very training environment that brings young men and women into the ranks as Airmen," Fanning said. He also thanked Airmen for their daily contributions to the Air Force mission. "Your role in providing critical training, professional education and vital medical care is crucial to the success of our Air Force."

Fanning began his visit with a meeting with Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, who gave him an overview of the many things going on in JBSA. While on JBSA-Randolph, he was also briefed on pilot instructor training at the 559th Flying Training Squadron and got a close-up view of a T-38 Talon, a two-seat, twin-engine supersonic jet trainer.

At JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, the newly appointed under secretary visited with Air Force wounded warriors, where he heard some of the Airmen's personal stories.

One of those Airmen was Tech. Sgt. Len Anderson, a working dog handler who was injured in Afghanistan during the filming of Animal Planet's Glory Hound. In July 2012, Anderson and his team were hit by a roadside bomb while accompanied by a film crew who captured the event on video. Anderson is assigned to the 59th Medical Wing's Patient Squadron at JBSA-Lackland while he continues treatment in San Antonio.

"It was great to see he was interested in dogs, it was one of the first things he asked about when he found out I was a handler," Anderson said. "It was a breath of fresh air to have that good of a connection with a senior leader. He was personable, genuinely interested in how we were doing, and he wanted us to share our experiences."

Fanning had breakfast with Airmen at JBSA-Lackland May 17 before attending a Basic Military Training graduation parade where he served as the reviewing official.

He addressed the graduates briefly before administering the oath of enlistment and reflected on the major accomplishment the Airmen have achieved over the past eight weeks.

"You are joining the best Air Force the world has ever known and we have no doubt you will make it better." Fanning said. "Commit to treating each other and yourself with respect and dignity, serve with integrity and you will accomplish more than you can imagine."

After the graduation parade, Fanning paid a visit to the 341st Training Squadron, where he received an overview of the Military Working Dog program. The squadron provides trained military working dogs used in patrol, drug and explosive detection, and specialized mission functions for the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

Fanning concluded his trip with a visit to the 323rd Training Squadron where he met with trainees and toured a newly-constructed Airman Training Complex for basic trainees.

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