Department of the Air Force leaders, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass, visited with Airmen and Guardians during an all call at the MacDill Air Force Base theater, June 11.
During the visit, both leaders addressed future policy changes for enlisted and commissioned officer talent management and force structure in addition to answering a variety of questions from basic allowance for housing to how the Civil Air Patrol contributes to the Total Force mission.
They also recognized four MacDill AFB Airmen for their innovations and duty performance accomplishments.
“It’s really important that we pick up our pace,” Brown said. “I really believe if we don’t accelerate, if we don’t change, we will lose. I do not play for second place, personally or professionally.”
Accelerate Change or Lose clearly defines what is at stake in today’s contested military environment.
Furthermore, Brown spoke about recent changes to the Air Force’s identity with one main change being its new mission statement: “To fly, fight, and win…airpower anytime, anywhere.”
Brown explained how the new motto is more encompassing and how it more accurately describes the current Air Force and how it should be going into the future in order to compete with peer-to-peer adversaries.
“In a long-term competition, you don’t necessarily win in the end, but you have to keep playing to make sure you do not lose,” Brown said. “So, what do we have to lose? We can lose this competition. We can lose quality Airmen and their families. We can lose our national security.”
With the rapid global advancement of other First World countries, the Department of Defense realizes the importance of keeping pace in a modern-day world that is constantly changing due to new technological advancements and industries.
“Part of [Accelerate Change or Lose] is how we empower you to help drive change,” Brown said. “One of the things I learned about during my time here at MacDill (AFB) is the ‘zero turn’ to increase your capability with the KC-135 (Stratotanker). That didn’t come from the Pentagon; that happened here.”
Col. Benjamin Jonsson, 6th Air Refueling Wing commander, added that this idea drove the KC-135’s attrition rate to a new all-time low due to the innovative efforts of the wing’s Airmen.
Brown and Bass emphasized the importance of the Air Force’s junior enlisted Airmen and young company grade officers who continually come up with innovative ideas and how they support their efforts.
“We are in a different global landscape and now we are half the size of what we were when I joined our Air Force,” Bass said. “We were focused on only three domains: air, land and sea back then. Fast forward to today and now we are focused on air, land, sea, space, cyberspace and information.”
Bass stressed that we cannot lose any of these domains.
To help service members understand how they fit into the big picture, Bass recommended every Airman should read four important documents: the 2018 National Defense Strategy, Accelerate Change or Lose, CSAF’s Action Orders to Accelerate Change Across the Air Force and U.S. Air Force Doctrine Publication 1.
Later on, Brown spoke about the importance of culture and trust in the Air Force.
“When talking about empowering Airmen, it’s the trust that goes through all of them, it’s the trust that starts with the Airmen that is trying to get the job done, that leadership trusts them to do what we asked them to do,” Brown said. “At the same time, they can look up to leadership and say, ‘I trust them because they care about me’ and ‘they know me as a person’ and that’s how you warp culture.”
Brown concluded by explaining how proud he is to serve with each member of the Air and Space Force and the importance of fostering trust throughout all levels of command and how we need to take care of each other.
In doing so, it will create a better culture and a better military equipped for future conflicts that ultimately assists with Accelerate Change or Lose.