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PACAF command chief addresses Andersen Airmen
Pacific Air Forces Command Chief Master Sgt. Steve McDonald addresses Andersen Air Force Base’s enlisted force Feb. 12, 2013. He visited the base to learn about the mission and operations at Andersen and to speak to the Airmen and address their questions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Montes/Released)
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PACAF command chief addresses Andersen Airmen

Posted 2/15/2013   Updated 2/15/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Robert Hicks
36th Wing Public Affairs

2/15/2013 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- The Pacific Air Forces command chief spoke to Airmen during an enlisted call here Feb. 12.

During the enlisted call, PACAF Command Chief Master Sgt. Steve McDonald discussed several topics, beginning with the Air Force's Comprehensive Airman Fitness initiative, which seeks to give Airmen the skills they need to overcome adverse or traumatic events in their lives. CAF consists of four main pillars: mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness.

Chief McDonald explained how the CAF program has master resiliency skills in place that serve as tools service members can use on a daily basis to help maintain resiliency.

The PACAF command chief moved on to address the suicide rate in the Air Force and the initiatives in place for suicide prevention, as well as securing more family time for Airmen.

Chief McDonald identified the severity of the issue of suicide in the Air Force and explained ways in which the military has tried to prevent suicide and provide help to service members throughout his 27-year career.

"No one knows what their darkest hour in life looks like. I know I don't, but sometimes people face this hour, and whatever it may be, you have to be prepared for it," he said. "Everyone must know their purpose and reason to press on before that darkest hour arises."

The chief also stressed the importance of service members and their families to the military and how senior leadership works to find ways for Airmen to spend more time at home with their loved ones.

"With every new addition that comes up, whether it's adding more training or changing the way we do things, senior leaders in today's force ask, 'What is this going to do with Airmen's time? How much time are they going to be losing with their families and how much extra time will they be spending at work?'"

In his parting words to Team Andersen, Chief McDonald talked about how impressed he was with the job the Airmen are doing within the Pacific area of responsibility.

Chief McDonald also provided an opportunity for Airmen to ask questions and have a discussion about the issues that are important to them.

"I'm always impressed by the Airmen," he said as he concluded his discussion with the Airmen. "The job you're doing here, with the strategic importance at Andersen and all the exercises and real-world missions you support, shows it's pretty important that you're here."

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