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COMPACAF visits “keystone” of the Pacific
Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, Pacific Air Forces commander, watches an AGM-86C Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile being loaded onto a B-52 Stratofortress on the flightline at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Dec. 3, 2012. The load demonstration was to show the general how fast 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airmen can load weapons on a B-52 Stratofortress. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos/Released)
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COMPACAF visits "keystone" of the Pacific

Posted 12/6/2012   Updated 12/6/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos
36th Wing Public Affairs

12/6/2012 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle, Pacific Air Forces commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Steve McDonald, Pacific Air Forces command chief visited with Team Andersen Airmen Dec. 2 for the first time since they entered their command roles.

General Carlisle had the opportunity to thank a few Airmen face-to-face during the base tour and addressed the majority at an Airmen's Call at the base theater.

"If there's one thing that I want you take away from today, it's thank you," General Carlisle said. "Less than one percent of the American population serves this country as military members. Thank you for putting yourselves out there and for the sacrifices that you and your families make."

Prior to the Airmen's Call, General Carlisle toured the base, interacted with Airmen and saw demonstrations from various units. The 736th Security Forces Squadron presented their counter improvised explosive device training demonstration, 36th Maintenance Group Airmen uploaded weapons on a B-52 Stratofortress and 36th Contingency Response Group Airmen provided the general an opportunity to experience the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle egress trainer.

"This place looks fantastic," he said. "Today was one of the most fun ones I've had in a long time. It was a blast."

After visiting units, General Carlisle and Chief McDonald proceeded to the Airmen's Call and talked about the focus shifting on the Asia-Pacific region and Andersen's role as the "keystone" to the success of the mission.

"A lot of attention is being focused this way, and I know that you are up to the challenge," said Chief McDonald. "The mission that you've taken on since then and the capabilities that you provide are, without a doubt, very impressive."

The general further emphasized the importance of Team Andersen's role by sharing how closely leadership watches the progress of the base.

"I was there when the president and secretary of defense walked in and said, 'we're pivoting to the Pacific; this is our new focus,'" said General Carlisle. "Every one of those strategic meetings talked about what you guys do day in and day out. Believe it or not, the president knows what you accomplish here at Andersen. What you do here at the 36th Wing is paramount to our success."

After discussing Team Andersen's importance to the Asia-Pacific region, he focused on important topics concerning the Airmen's well-being: sexual assault and resiliency.

General Carlisle was adamant that problems such as sexual assault had no place in the Air Force, stressing the importance of bystander intervention as a means of prevention.

"We got to have our eyes wide open, and we need to have the courage to stand up and say something," said General Carlisle.

In his discussion of resiliency, he spoke of his own experiences and how his peers helped him through adversity, urging Team Andersen Airmen to do the same. He spoke of being a wingman and supporting each other.

"We've all had bad years," General Carlisle said. "We all go through that. I had people with me who kept me going. The solution is to know each other and be there for each other."

The general said that leadership from all levels are aware of how hard the Airmen work. He said that the Airmen can expect leadership to lead by example.

"We will lead from up front; we will never ask anybody to do something we wouldn't do ourselves," General Carlisle said. "We'll set the example 100 percent of the time."

Throughout his time visiting and speaking with Airmen, the general stressed the importance of working together and taking care of each other, and that in challenging times, this was the key to success.

"At the end of the day, our job in life is to fight and win this nation's wars," said General Carlisle. "If anyone wishes us harm or tries to change our friends, allies or our way of life, we will go out and stop them. It's all about taking care of each other. We got a couple of problems we have to get rid of, but we all have to lead in the lowest level. We're all in this together."

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