AETC leaders visit Altus AFB
By Senior Airman Dillon Davis, 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 11, 2014
ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Leaders from Air Education and Training Command visited Altus Air Force Base Aug. 6 - 8, 2014.
AETC Commander Gen. Robin Rand and his wife Kim, along with U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, met with Airmen and families of the 97th Air Mobility Wing and also attended a KC-46A Pegasus ground breaking ceremony.
The general and chief experienced firsthand the daily operational and support programs that made Altus AFB the Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award winner for 2014, while Kim Rand met with agencies on base to better understand how resources like the Airman and Family Readiness Center and the key spouses program are used to take care of families stationed here.
During the visit, the general learned how Altus AFB contributes to AETC's mission of recruiting, training and educating Airmen to deliver airpower for America as well as forging innovative Airmen to power the world's greatest Air Force.
"We should be very proud and humbled by the role that the Air Force plays in defense of America," said Rand. "I want to thank you for everything you all do. You're not taken for granted."
In addition to meeting with Airmen in their workplace, Rand and Tapia hosted a series of commander's calls with Airmen, and shared their perspective of current and future Air Force topics.
"Do the very best at whatever it is that you're doing," said Tapia in response to a question regarding force shaping. "Eventually, the cream comes to the top. If you're a good Airman and you know your job and you go the extra mile then you will do great."
During the three commander's calls, Rand and Tapia were able to speak in depth about AETC priorities and how the Airmen fit into the bigger picture.
"Think about how many Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines wouldn't have come home from combat zones if it weren't for the efforts of the U.S. Air Force," said Rand. "We need to find the opportunity to discuss and breed the Air Force warrior ethos and what we do and why we do it."
The visitors also attended the KC-46 Ground Breaking Ceremony, signaling the beginning of many preparations needed to host the first ever formal training unit dedicated to training pilots and boom operators on the Air Force's newest tanker.
Altus was selected as the preferred location for the KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft's formal training unit in April 2014.