KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright visited Kirtland Air Force Base Sept. 27-28, 2019, to spend time with Airmen, learn their stories and how they contribute to the many missions carried out here.
“[During my first stop] I had an opportunity to meet some of the outstanding performers from the 58th Special Operations Wing,” said Wright. “I know as I go throughout the rest of this tour, I’ll get to meet even more phenomenal Airmen that are just killing it in whichever mission set they belong to here at Kirtland.”
During his visit, Chief Wright reinforced the message that Air Force leadership continues to encourage innovation and they will continue to support Airmen.
“We are proud of you,” said Chief Wright. “We want you to ‘go long.’ We want you to be bold and [know] we have your back. I hope that Kirtland, like all the other installations, are taking advantage of the money and the authority and the opportunity to innovate, to come up with new and better ways of doing things.”
Wright saw many of the missions that happen here at Kirtland, including visiting with Airmen from the 58th SOW, the 150th SOW, Kirtland’s Airmen Leadership School and the 377th Air Base Wing.
“One of the gentlemen I was talking to earlier talked about how this is a complex installation,” said Wright. “There are a lot of mission partners and a lot of great things happening on this base.”
He also said that the biggest message from the Air Staff and the leaders at the Pentagon is, ‘We appreciate what you do.’ As a way of showing that appreciation, Air Force leaders asked for a way to help.
Air Force leadership recently received feedback from Airmen across the Air Force on the resilience tactical pause day as ordered by Gen. David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
“We have received some good feedback,” said Wright. “Lots of Airmen have talked about [how] it was a great day, they had lots of good discussions and they were able to connect with their leadership.”
Wright explained that not all feedback was positive. He described some of the challenges that Airmen are facing.
“We’ve also received a lot of feedback that says, ‘Hey our leadership is not connected,’ that ‘Leadership doesn’t care,’ and that there is still a stigma associated with asking for help,” Wright added.
Chief Wright believes that a possible solution to bridge the gap between Airmen and their leaders is to continue the conversations that occurred during the resilience tactical pause day.
“What I would really like to see is commanders and command teams at all levels to take the opportunity to continue these discussions,” said Wright. “Continue this dialogue and figure out the right ways to engage, the right ways to assist, the right ways to motivate, encourage and inspire our Airmen at all levels.”
With the information gained through this feedback process, Wright’s expectations of Airmen across the Air Force is to lend an ear to their wingmen.
“What I would expect the Air Force to do next is listen,” said Wright. “Listen and engage where appropriate to help our Airmen get through some of the challenging times that we all have in life.”