CSAF visits Luke AFB to meet with Airmen, discuss F-35 future

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, accompanied by his wife, Dawn, visited Luke Air Force Base Nov. 8, to engage with key leaders and address 56th Fighter Wing Airmen about the current state and future of the Air Force.

As the home for the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35A Lightning II initial training programs, Luke AFB’s mission is to train the world’s greatest fighter pilots and combat-ready Airmen.

During his visit, Goldfein toured 56th FW’s premier fighter squadrons, met with Airmen and international pilots and learned about how Luke AFB is contributing to the Air Force’s overall mission.

“The work that you’re doing here at Luke (AFB), training, raising and building the future, is as important as anything else we’re doing in our Air Force,” Goldfein said.

Goldfein attended a luncheon with squadron commanders while they discussed topics such as the decision authority given to the squadron commanders and the resources provided that enable them to complete the mission.

He reiterated his focus area of squadrons as the premier fighting formation as well as the importance of squadron cultures and how they contribute to the success of the Air Force’s mission.

“For the past three-and-a-half years we have been relentlessly focused on squadrons as the heartbeat of our Air Force,” Goldfein said. “It’s the level of command where you have the most impact on the mission and the people. We succeed or fail as an Air Force at squadron command level.”

After the luncheon, Goldfein conducted an Airmen all call and spoke about topics such as multi-domain operations and strengthening joint leaders and teams.

There are four things that make a successful officer, Goldfein said. The Air Force values how an officer accomplishes the mission they’ve been given, how well they lead the Airmen instructed to their care, how well they manage the resources required to do the mission and how well they have improved their unit in the rating period. This is all wrapped in impeccable character.

“We are the service that’s responsible for the most destructive weaponry on the planet,” Goldfein said. “It’s ok for the American people to expect us to be men and women of impeccable character. It is the foundation of the officer corps that our nation requires and deserves.”

Goldfein encouraged Airmen to continue personal and professional development and concluded his speech by thanking them for their service.

“There is a reason our families aren’t worried about being attacked,” Goldfein said. “That’s because of us. You and me. Because you stood up and raised your right hand and agreed to serve when your nation needs you most. You should never take for granted the importance of your service. I’m here to stand, as your chief, to say thank you for what you do every day.”

CSAF visit Luke to meet with Airmen, discuss F-35 future

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, left, meets Maj. Andrew Olson, F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team pilot commander, following the team’s final practice at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Nov. 8, 2019. Goldfein, accompanied by his wife, Dawn Goldfein, visited Luke AFB to engage with key leaders and address 56th Fighter Wing Airmen about the current state and future of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexander Cook)

Maj. Justin Lee, 56th Training Squadron instructor pilot, shows Dawn Goldfien, wife of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, how to operate an F-35A Lightning II simulator at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Nov. 8, 2019.

Maj. Justin Lee, 56th Training Squadron instructor pilot, shows Dawn Goldfein, wife of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, how to operate an F-35A Lightning II simulator at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Nov. 8, 2019. During her time at Luke AFB, Mrs. Goldfein gained insight on how student pilots are trained using simulators prior to flying. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Leala Marquez)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein provide remarks during an Airmen all call at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Nov. 8, 2019.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein provides remarks during an Airmen all call at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Nov. 8, 2019. Goldfein discussed topics such as multi-domain operations, joint leaders and teams and the importance of squadrons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Leala Marquez)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and his wife Dawn receive a 56th Fighter Wing mission brief at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Nov. 8, 2019.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and his wife, Dawn Goldfein, receive a 56th Fighter Wing mission brief at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Nov. 8, 2019. Goldfein visited Luke AFB to engage with key leaders and address 56th FW Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Wongwai)

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