Acting Secretary of the Air Force John P. Roth visited Wright-Patterson Air Force Base March 23 to get a firsthand look at various missions and a few of the more than 115 units and agencies that operate at the installation.
This was Roth’s first visit to the base since he became acting secretary in January.
He started by touring the National Air and Space Intelligence Center to get an overview of its mission, people and resources.
“NASIC meets the demands of not only today, but also for tomorrow’s mission and strategy,” Roth said. “The innovation and creativity of the personnel here at Air Force Materiel Command is what propels our Air Force and Space Force to new heights.”
After the NASIC visit, Roth sat down for lunch with military and civilian personnel from various Wright-Patterson AFB organizations. During the discussion, he received a better understanding of COVID-19‘s impacts on Airmen, as well as their thoughts and suggestions for the Air Force.
Roth said he believes all Airmen should have an opportunity to express their voices, which is the most direct way the Air Force can utilize their innovation and creativity.
“In order to understand the mindsets of Airmen regarding the challenges and future possibilities of the Air Force, discussion is imperative to highlight matters that need to be improved,” he said.
Roth then visited different Air Force Research Laboratory units, including the Aerospace Medicine and Public Health Epidemiology lab at the 711th Human Performance Wing, as well as the Sensors Directorate.
“The work that has originated from AFRL is substantial to providing war-winning capabilities against any threats,” Roth said. “One of the most immediate threats has been COVID-19, and I am confident that we have the best personnel finding new methods to combat and win against this pandemic.”
Later, the secretary stopped by the Air Force Institute of Technology to observe the structural changes as a result of COVID-19 safety protocols. With a few exceptions, students enrolled in AFIT resident courses have largely been converted to online learning.
“AFIT is one of our many great installations that develops our best and brightest into the future leaders they are meant to be,” Roth said. “Our goal is to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases so we can start to inch closer to normalcy within our daily lives.”
Roth concluded his visit by touring the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the oldest and largest aviation museum in the world with more than 360 aircraft and missiles on display.
“The museum not only highlights the aircraft and missiles that were used by the Air Force, it also represents the history of where the Air and Space Force came from,” Roth said. “It’s important to remember how we got to this point so we may continue to improve and break barriers.”
The secretary says his goal is to protect the nation by ensuring the Air and Space Force have the resources and training required to fulfill the National Defense Strategy. That starts with a strong foundation in both branches.
“The capabilities that the Air Force and Space Force possess continue to grow each day,” Roth said. “Even with those incredible capabilities, our most important resource is our Airmen and Guardians. Without them, none of those capabilities are possible.”