LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – --
Air Education and Training Command’s newest commander, Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, and Chief Master Sgt. Julie Gudgel, AETC command chief, learned more about the people and missions of Team XL during a three-day immersion here Aug. 13-15, 2019.
“Laughlin’s ability to focus on cultivating combat-ready Airmen plays a critical role in sustaining our Air Force,” Webb said. “I’m proud to walk among young aviators who are giving of themselves to ensure students are prepared, trained and focused on building the Air Force that we need.”
The command duo toured facilities across the base, and spoke with Airmen at stops throughout the itinerary. During a wing all call, the general and chief opened the floor for questions and comments from those in attendance.
“It was amazing having them come here and listen to what we have to say,” Staff Sgt. June Bell, 47th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron physical evaluation board liaison officer, said. “They were open and transparent and weren’t trying to sugarcoat anything. It set the bar for other leaders to follow.”
Housing shortages, assignment tour lengths and quality of life initiatives were addressed by the command team.
“Our Airmen and their families are our biggest asset,” said Col. Lee Gentile, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. “During my tenure I’ve made it my priority to ensure the men and women of Team XL know their voice and concerns are heard. Having the AETC commander and command chief display the same level of appreciation and transparency reaffirmed the value that’s placed on our Airmen’s voice.”
Webb said he’s excited to take the helm at the First Command, “where the Airmen are at the forefront of producing airpower.”
“To me, there is no greater satisfaction than commanding Airmen,” Webb said. “And just because AETC is the first command, we should not mistake that we are one step removed from putting our Airmen in the fight. AETC is charged with developing and training warriors.”
Webb took command July 26, 2019, and is formerly the commander of the Air Force Special Operations Command. AETC is responsible for training 300,000 students annually across 260 different career specialties.
“Our pilot training bases are at the helm to develop the men and women necessary to fulfill our diverse missions, which means generating a warfighting mentality starts here,” he said.