KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
The importance of revitalizing squadrons was the key point made by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein during an “all call” Oct. 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.
Goldfein, who was joined in his Kirtland visit by Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright, told Airmen that pushing decision authority down to squadron commanders is one way the AF is working towards revitalizing squadrons and to ensure commanders are empowered to make decisions at the speed needed for future conflict.
“The conflict we are preparing for, and that may be right around the corner, is going to absolutely demand that we’re able to operate at a speed that perhaps we haven’t operated in in the last 15 years,” Goldfein said. “If we’re going to operate at the speed the nation requires, squadron commanders have to feel empowered to make the decisions they need to be making.”
He said the nature of warfare is changing and we have to be prepared for what is coming next and revitalizing squadrons is imperative because success or failure happens at the squadron level.
“The mission of the Air Force succeeds or fails in the squadron,” Goldfein said. “We’re focused on pushing the decision authority down to squadron commanders, and giving them the tools and resources needed to be able to accomplish missions successfully."
He emphasized that the central take away from his speech, especially for squadron commanders both present and future, is that the Air Force leadership trusts its Airmen.
“We absolutely and completely trust you,” Goldfein said. “We hired you because we trust you. And because we trust you, don’t wait for us to make decisions for your squadron that will improve the value it brings to the Air Force.”
Goldfein said he is working to make jobs more meaningful by reducing additional duties and taking away work that is “non-value added,” or work that doesn’t directly impact the mission, so Airmen can focus their energy on contributing to the success of their missions.
While at Kirtland, Goldfein and Wright met with several units, learning the mission and speaking with leadership about what challenges and obstacles were being faced.
“We’ve learned a lot. We’ve talked to a lot of people and taken a lot of notes and received a lot of feedback,” Wright said. “This is really the best way we can learn how to help you.”
Wright said it was great to be at Kirtland so he could thank Airmen in person for their contributions.
“We came out here to say thank you for what you do,” the chief said. “We don’t often get to thank you in person for your service, thank you for what you do every day for our Air Force.”
Wright encouraged Airmen to be better wingmen by looking after each other. “Be good teams and good wingmen,” he said. “We need to get to a point in our minds and in our actions, that every day is Wingman Day. I want you to think every day, ‘how can I take better care of my teammates?’”