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COMPACAF: Leadership and Accountability

  • Published
  • By Gen. Carrol H. Chandler
  • Pacific Air Forces commander
This week, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates nominated Michael Donley to serve as Secretary of the Air Force, and General Norton Schwartz to serve as Air Force Chief of Staff. As you know, both Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff T. Michael Moseley resigned last week following the investigation report on the recent shipment of sensitive missile components.

It is vital we understand the reasons for recent leadership changes in our Air Force and learn from them. At the same time, we must scrutinize our performance to ensure we do not find ourselves lacking in credibility or in competence as Airmen. Several recent reports concluded our focus on our most sensitive mission--the handling of nuclear weapons--eroded over the past decade. Inattention to technical orders and a lack of compliance with standards have resulted in unacceptable errors. This is antithetical to who we are as Airmen.

We must never lose sight of who we are and why we are here. Our daily activities should focus on providing overwhelming air, space, and cyberspace capabilities in the Pacific. We must carry out our mission with the utmost integrity, excellence, and service. Levels of performance that fall short of our standards are simply unacceptable.

The Air Force is losing a good Secretary and Chief. They took responsibility for actions that occurred on their watch and accepted accountability. Now we must give our loyalty to a new Secretary and Chief as we press forward, executing our duties and responsibilities--to the highest standards. I have full confidence in the men and women serving in our Air Force and in PACAF. We will continue to provide our combatant commanders with the best air, space, and cyber power in the world. We will continue to prepare for tomorrow's challenges and take care of our Airmen--and we'll do it safely and to the standards of excellence that has become synonymous with the term "Airman."

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