Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, shakes the hand of Staff Sgt. Michael Satchell during his visit to the fire station June 18. After a warm welcome from the Airmen at the fire station, Rice spoke to junior enlisted Airmen about various topics, such as their reason for joining the military, at the junior enlisted meeting in the fire station. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Englar)
Col. Jim Sears, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, thanks Golden Triangle Regional Airport Director Mike Hainsey for providing a short-notice tour to the Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, his wife Teresa and the Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, after their Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. bound aircraft diverted into the airport due to bad weather at the base. Columbus AFB currently has 12 T-1 Jayhawk trainers operating out of the Golden Triangle airport while the base's center runway is closed for construction. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Charles Dickens)
Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, speaks to Columbus Air Force Base and local community leaders during an Air Force Association-hosted community reception June 17 at Prairie Wildlife Refuge in West Point, Miss. During the reception, Rice met with many new and old faces from around the local area and answered questions regarding where the Air Force is as a whole and where it is going in the future. (U.S. Air Force Photo Illustration/Airman 1st Class Charles Dickens)
Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, command chief of Air Education and Training Command speaks to a group of senior noncommissioned officers during a breakfast held at The Little Kitchen in Columbus, Miss. June 18. The commander and command chief of AETC visited Columbus Air Force Base to interact with small groups of Airmen around base to get a wider perspective of Air Force issues. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Englar)
Teresa Rice, wife of Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, asks Airman 1st Class Juliana White, 14th Comptroller Squadron, about her experience with the Ten Dollars a Day program that she attended through the First Term Airman Center during her Commissary tour June 18. The Ten Dollars a Day program shows Airman how to eat three well balanced meals a day while staying within their Basic Allowance for Subsistence. The program started after Teresa Rice’s last visit and has been featured in the Defense Commissary Agency’s magazine. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Englar)
Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., Commander, Air Education and Training Command sat down with selected Company Grade Officers of Columbus Air Force Base June 18 to discuss hot button issues throughout the Air Force and leadership skills and opportunities available to the junior officers. Rice visited with several other groups of selected Airmen to discuss his concerns and to receive perspectives from the lower-ranking tiers. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Charles Dickens)
Anthony Williams, Housing Maintenance Supervisor, addresses Teresa Rice, wife of Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, and Columbus Air Force Base’s spouses and leaders at the Hunt Housing Complex June 18. After his briefing, he allowed members of the group to ask questions regarding numerous topics such as housing allowances. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Englar)
Col. Jim Sears, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, greets Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, as he arrives in Columbus, Miss., June 17. Rice, Mrs. Rice and Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC Command Chief are visiting Columbus Air Force Base June 17 and 18 to speak and interact with base Airmen. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Charles Dickens)
Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, speak to the Columbus Air Force Base first sergeants to gather their perspectives on sexual assault and leadership involvement in counteracting the problem, ways to balance the Cost Conscious Culture initiative and Airmen’s time as well as other current Air Force issues. Rice and Tapia spoke with several small groups around Columbus AFB during their visit June 17 and 18 to get personalized responses to important issues throughout the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Charles Dickens)
Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, addresses members of the 14th Flying Training Wing during an All Call held June 18 at the Columbus Air Force Base Kaye Auditorium. During the call, Rice spoke about the importance of maintaining Airmen’s time, the problem of sexual assault in the Air Force among other hot topics in the service. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Bryan Franks)
by Airman 1st Class Stephanie Englar
14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
6/24/2013 - COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of the Air Education and Training Command, Mrs. Teresa Rice, and Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, visited Columbus Air Force Base June 17-18 as part of their tour around the command.
During their two day stay, they were given a tour of numerous locations on Columbus Air Force Base and the ability to talk to Airmen about hot topics in the military today.
When they arrived Monday, the first place the group stopped at was the Prairie Wildlife Sporting Estate, which hosted a community reception.
"One thing I noticed was that you have a community that is ready and wants to embrace every Airman out here. I was really touched by that," said Tapia. "Everyone at the dinner wanted to come up and thank me and talk about you guys, and I thought that was special. What you have to do now is go out and earn their admiration, and you do this by being good citizens and getting involved in the community in a positive way."
The tour continued Tuesday morning with the group splitting up to cover various locations on base.
Rice ate breakfast with a select group of commissioned officers in the Daedalians Room of the Club while Tapia went off base to The Little Kitchen with a group of senior non-commissioned officers. Topics discussed at the Little Kitchen meeting included the Air Force Fitness Program and PT test changes, changes to the special duty process in where the Air Force would select well qualified individuals rather than special duties being on a volunteer basis, and changes to the EPR system to stop inflation of Airmen EPRs.
Rice and Tapia continued their meetings throughout the morning at various locations including the 37th Flying Training Squadron, the Fire Station, and the Golf Course. Topics in the meetings included the roles of supervisors to junior Airmen and sexual assault in the Air Force.
"One of the topics that the junior Airmen meeting covered was sexual assault prevention," said Airman 1st Class Anthony Isles, 14th Communications Squadron. "During the meeting, General Rice talked to us about it and asked if we had any solutions to the problem."
While Rice and Tapia attended meetings with Airmen around the base, Mrs. Rice was greeted at the Commissary by members of the Commissary and Airmen and Family Readiness Center staff. Mrs. Rice was briefed on the Ten Dollars a Day program that is offered to new Airmen going through the First Term Airman Center. After the briefing, samples of sushi from the recently opened sushi bar were dispersed.
"It was great to have Mrs. Rice visit the Commissary," said La Vida Nethercutt, Defense Commissary Agency store director. "She is really genuine and you can really tell that she cares about the men and women who come here."
"During Mrs. Rice's last visit she toured numerous programs on the base," said Laura Clagg, 14th Force Support Squadron. "The Ten dollar a day program started after her last visit so it was nice to be able to highlight the program and the success it has had.
After the Commissary, Mrs. Rice traveled over to the Hunt Housing Complex to receive a briefing on important housing topics for Columbus AFB. Topics in the briefing included utility costs and housing allowances.
An All Call was held at the Kaye Auditorium for Airmen on base to come out and listen to a briefing by Rice and Tapia. After the briefing Airmen had the opportunity to ask the AETC commander and command chief their own questions.
After a day of touring the command and hearing the opinions of Airmen, Rice, Mrs. Rice, and Tapia departed Columbus AFB to continue their tour.
"This has been a great visit to Columbus," said Rice. "This is my second time here and I'm happy to have a chance to revisit the 14th Flying Training Wing. My focus has been different this time; I'm more focused on talking with as many Airmen as I possibly can and I've been able to accomplish that with small groups that were reflective of the general thoughts among their peers within the Wing."