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AETC commander visits Laughlin, speaks on key issues

Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, Air Education and Training Command command chief, meets and speaks with Laughlin’s Honor Guard team members at the Losano Fitness Center on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. He spoke about the importance of the honor guard and how they serve those who have served. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, Air Education and Training Command command chief, meets and speaks with Laughlin’s Honor Guard team members at the Losano Fitness Center on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. He spoke about the importance of the honor guard and how they serve those who have served. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, Air Education and Training Command command chief, shares a laugh with the 47th Medical Group at the base clinic on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. The clinic’s team members spoke to him about how they train and maintain standards, supporting mission readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, Air Education and Training Command command chief, shares a laugh with the 47th Medical Group at the base clinic on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. The clinic’s team members spoke to him about how they train and maintain standards, supporting mission readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, Air Education and Training Command command chief, speaks with Capt. John Farmer, 47th Security Forces Squadron commander, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. Tapia shot with Chief Master Sgt. Garry Berry, 47th Flying Training Wing command chief. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, Air Education and Training Command command chief, speaks with Capt. John Farmer, 47th Security Forces Squadron commander, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. Tapia shot with Chief Master Sgt. Garry Berry, 47th Flying Training Wing command chief. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, Air Education and Training Command command chief, checks a rifle before loading it and prepares to shoot a rifle at the Combat Arms Training and Marksmanship range on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. After firing the rifle he helped present the AETC Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level NCO of the Year Award to Staff Sgt. Tynesha Sweeney, 47th Security Forces Squadron report analysis technician. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, Air Education and Training Command command chief, checks a rifle before loading it and prepares to shoot a rifle at the Combat Arms Training and Marksmanship range on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. After firing the rifle he helped present the AETC Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level NCO of the Year Award to Staff Sgt. Tynesha Sweeney, 47th Security Forces Squadron report analysis technician. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, Air Education and Training Command command chief, speaks with Laughlin First Sergeants during his visit at Stripes Enlisted Club on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. The chief shared his experiences with airmen and first sergeants and his ideas on how to make a positive, professional presence in the dormitory area. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, Air Education and Training Command command chief, speaks with Laughlin First Sergeants during his visit at Stripes Enlisted Club on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. The chief shared his experiences with airmen and first sergeants and his ideas on how to make a positive, professional presence in the dormitory area. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

Kim Rand, wife of Air Education and Training Command commander Gen. Robin Rand, speaks with Col. Michael Patronis, 47th Medical Group commander, during a two-day visit to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. Kim Rand, along with her husband and Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, met with Laughlin leadership, toured the base, and spoke with base airmen during the visit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman John D. Partlow)

Kim Rand, wife of Air Education and Training Command commander Gen. Robin Rand, speaks with Col. Michael Patronis, 47th Medical Group commander, during a two-day visit to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. Kim Rand, along with her husband and Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, met with Laughlin leadership, toured the base, and spoke with base airmen during the visit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman John D. Partlow)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, inspects a T-38 Talon cockpit mock-up at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. “I’ve been watching your base for a long time, and it’s amazing what I see here,” said Rand during a briefing at Laughlin. “Your mission at Laughlin is the pulse, the bread and butter of the Air Force, and I hope you know that.” (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman John D. Partlow)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, inspects a T-38 Talon cockpit mock-up at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. “I’ve been watching your base for a long time, and it’s amazing what I see here,” said Rand during a briefing at Laughlin. “Your mission at Laughlin is the pulse, the bread and butter of the Air Force, and I hope you know that.” (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman John D. Partlow)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, speaks with airmen at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. Rand, along with his wife, Kim Rand, and Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, met with leadership, toured the base, and spoke with Team XL during a two-day site visit of the 47th Flying Training Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nathan Maysonet)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, speaks with airmen at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. Rand, along with his wife, Kim Rand, and Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, met with leadership, toured the base, and spoke with Team XL during a two-day site visit of the 47th Flying Training Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nathan Maysonet)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, listens to a briefing at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. Rand also briefed hundreds of Laughlin airmen, stating, “We have to define the new norm, and I need your help,” said Rand. “We are not going to do more with less. We are counting on you to tell us what to do less of to keep quality up. If we are doing so much of one thing that we can’t do another, tell your leadership.” (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nathan Maysonet)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, listens to a briefing at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. Rand also briefed hundreds of Laughlin airmen, stating, “We have to define the new norm, and I need your help,” said Rand. “We are not going to do more with less. We are counting on you to tell us what to do less of to keep quality up. If we are doing so much of one thing that we can’t do another, tell your leadership.” (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nathan Maysonet)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, prepares to fly in a T-38 Talon at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. Rand also met with base leadership and spoke with Laughlin airmen during his tour. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nathan Maysonet)
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Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, prepares to fly in a T-38 Talon at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 9, 2014. Rand also met with base leadership and spoke with Laughlin airmen during his tour. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nathan Maysonet)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, briefs Laughlin senior non-commissioned officers about force reshaping at Anderson Hall on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 8, 2014. During his visit he spoke to airmen and answered any questions about force reshaping. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)
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Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, briefs Laughlin senior non-commissioned officers about force reshaping at Anderson Hall on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 8, 2014. During his visit he spoke to airmen and answered any questions about force reshaping. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, unlatches a harness after getting fitted by Aircrew Flight Equipment at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 8, 2014. He was fitted in a harness for a training sortie scheduled during his visit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)
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Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, unlatches a harness after getting fitted by Aircrew Flight Equipment at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Jan. 8, 2014. He was fitted in a harness for a training sortie scheduled during his visit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jimmie D. Pike)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Air Education and Training Command's senior leaders visited Laughlin for a tour of the base's day-to-day operations Jan. 8 and 9.

Gen. Robin Rand, AETC commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, AETC command chief, met with leadership, toured the base, and spoke with Team XL during a two-day site visit of the 47th Flying Training Wing.

"It is amazing what you all do here at Laughlin," said Rand. "I've been watching your base for a long time, and it's amazing what I see here. You have deployed Airmen who are right now walking the line and medics doing great work, but it's what all of you do for the Air Force to help new pilots earn their wings that is so outstanding. Your mission at Laughlin is the pulse, the bread and butter of the Air Force, and I hope you know that."

While here, Rand held a series of all-calls for base personnel to attend, and he spoke about a variety of issues impacting the Air Force.

Throughout the discussions, Rand often referred to his own personal philosophy of reinforcing what people should do to excel, rather than what they shouldn't do.

"I don't want to tell you what you shouldn't do. I want to emphasize what you should do," said Rand. "Talk to your Airmen about excellence. You are a part of the world's greatest Air Force, and you are responsible for teaching them to be great American Airmen."

In speaking about the Air Force's current financial situation, Rand highlighted the importance Airmen play in helping shape policy.

"We have to define the new norm, and I need your help," said Rand. "We are not going to do more with less. We are counting on you to tell us what to do less of to keep quality up."

In answering questions about force reshaping, Rand commented that the process will be accomplished in measured parts to reach the required reduction levels with the hope of limiting the numbers of involuntary cuts required.

More than just policy, Rand spoke of the importance in knowing the legacy and heritage that defines the Air Force.

"We are warriors, do we talk about that?" Said Rand. "Do we talk about our heritage and our legacy? Do we talk about these things with our Airmen? Our traditions were forged with blood, sweat and tears. Never forget about the thousands of airmen who got us to this point. Don't break the faith and always remember what really matters."

Rand concluded his visit by thanking Team XL for all they do.

"Adhere to our core values, maintain our standards, learn about our heritage, and be great role models," said Rand. "This base and its people, Airmen and families alike, are phenomenal. Laughlin is where the rubber meets the road."
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