by Staff Sgt. Clinton Atkins
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
10/26/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- The
Air Force's top general discussed topics such as telling the Air Force
story and innovation during the Air Education and Training Command
Senior Leader Conference here Oct. 18.
"Telling the Air Force story is a big deal to me," Air Force Chief of
Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III during his speech to leaders from around
the command. "The one thing I'm finding is ... our own Airmen don't know
where we're going; they don't know where they fit in it."
Welsh told the senior leaders to think about how they can present a
conclusive message at every level. "Our Airmen really want to know where
they belong," he said. "They want to know what they do is valuable."
The Air Force has five priorities: continuing to strengthen the nuclear
enterprise, winning today's fights, developing and caring for Airmen and
their families, modernization, and recapturing acquisition excellence.
"If you look at those five priorities, and if you're not someone who
supervises or commands people, you might not be able to find yourself in
those priorities," he said. "We can't allow people to think because
those are five things the Secretary and Chief said that what they're
doing isn't important."
The general simplified the explanation of where Airmen fit into the
mission by focusing them into the areas of winning the fight,
strengthening the team, and shaping the future. "And I defy you to not
be able to place yourself in one of those," he said. "And that's the
idea ... but you can find everyone else somewhere in there."
With looming fiscal austerity that could affect future readiness, Welsh
said the size and scope of the Air Force mission will have to be
curtailed to meet future requirements. He said it will take innovation.
"If we keep the same-sized force 30 years from now, we won't have enough
money to feed it -- much less fight it," he said. "We've got to do
Welsh said whatever the future holds, he's certain the mission cannot be
accomplished without the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. He
said global strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance;
mobility; space and cyberspace are mission priorities that cannot be
"All of those things are core to the Air Force. We have to do them and we have to do them well."