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PACAF commander tours Andersen facilities, engages Airmen, families

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alexander W. Riedel
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The commander of the Pacific Air Forces visited Andersen Air Force Base July 9 through 10 to gain a better understanding of unit readiness, quality of life and Air Force operations on the island.

During her first visit as commander, Gen. Lori Robinson, who assumed command in October 2014, traveled to facilities around the base and visited the Pacific Regional Training Center at Northwest Field to meet Airmen and gain a firsthand impression of various mission areas.

The general concluded her visit by hosting her first all-call at Andersen AFB to introduce herself and share her priorities and expectations for her command.

Robinson pointed to readiness as one of her major focus areas and encouraged all Airmen to remember the importance of personal readiness to continued mission success.

"I expect you to be active and involved in comprehensive Airman fitness," she said. "If you're not personally ready, then you won't be ready for what you need to do when we're asking you to."

"Are you, as an Airman, ready to go?" she continued. "Do you have everything in order at your house and with your family? Are you physically and mentally fit to do the job when you're asked to go? [We] expect you to be ready to fight anytime--tonight and right now, if necessary."

The general also shared some of her basic expectations for every Airman under her command, including fostering a culture of dignity and respect in work centers and encouraging mentorship throughout the force.

"I'm passionate about leadership," she said. "The role of a leader is to build more leaders, and I believe in building leaders who are better than me. Because, one day I'm going to leave the institution, and when I leave it with leaders who are better than me, then I have left it better. At the end of the day, it's not about me, but the institution."

Robinson said part of leadership is also caring for the individuals who complete the mission.

"When we take care of Airmen and their families, Airmen will take care of the mission, and Airmen's success is the command's success," she said. "You as Airman are the lifeblood [of the Air Force], you are our ingenuity; and you are the ones who make our Air Force better."

Focusing on the importance of presence, partnerships and power projection for future PACAF operations, Robinson said Guam's unique location makes it a focal point in the defense of the Pacific and will remain one of reliable forward presence.

"This island's strategic presence and ability to shrink the 'tyranny of distance' makes people watch," she said. "This island is not in the middle of nowhere, but in the middle of everywhere-- and people pay attention."

Robinson said with unpredictable tensions around the Pacific region, strategic partnerships will be increasingly important for mission success and are continuously championed on Guam through international and joint exercises.

"If you have great presence, you also have the opportunity to create great partnerships," she said. "The partnerships we have on this island are amazing. These partnerships are important to us each and every day."

Whether with continuous bomber presence or contingency response missions, Robinson said Andersen continues to project power across a wide and critical area of the globe.

"[You let] people know that you will defend the right to fly and navigate in international airspace," she said. "[Your partnerships and presence] allows us to put power projection anywhere in a short period of time."

This quick response capability was successfully tested during the recent humanitarian aid efforts in Nepal following the earthquake, Robinson lauded.

"The ability to project power in this region is unbelievable--and you do it here, every day," she said. "Each of you is an ambassador for the United States. Every time you step outside your gate, travel to a different country, and every time you do your job, you represent the U.S.  After seeing what Team Andersen is doing, I can tell you are representing our PACOM commander, our chief of staff and our nation incredibly well. Thank you for all you do."

In her role as PACAF commander, Robinson is responsible for air operations across the Pacific and commands more than 45,000 personnel serving principally in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Japan and South Korea.

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