By Audrey Jensen
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Airmen arrived early to fill the base auditorium seats at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, for an all call with Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright, March 6, 2018.
Wright addressed several topics he wanted to emphasize, including Air Force resiliency, being a wingman, new uniforms, an initiative released by the Department of Defense and and studying the feasibility of warrant officers.
After asking Airmen their opinion on bringing back warrant officers, Wright said there is a team of researchers studying whether or not this would be beneficial for the Air Force.
“In this day and age when it comes to warfighting, and warfighting excellence, I could certainly see the need for warrant officers in career fields like space operations, contracting, cyber and some parts of aviation,” Wright said. “So if the study reveals that bringing warrant officers back into the United States Air Force makes us a more lethal, ready, fighting force, I think we should be willing to explore it.”
Though Airmen know well what resiliency means, Wright explained why he believes it’s important.
“Hopefully you’ve heard me talk about this before; it’s something that’s near and dear to my heart,” Wright said. “Something I think is important for all of us as Airmen is: how do we continue to be good teammates? How do we continue to take care of not only ourselves but each other?”
From here on out, being in the Air Force will only get more challenging, Wright said, adding the top threat to U.S. National Security is no longer terrorism, but strategic competition from adversary countries.
“It’s going to take a very resilient force, not just in the sense of our ability to move forward as an Air Force, but as individual Airmen.”
Because of these ongoing potential threats, there will be more deployments, which will affect Airmen and their families, Wright added.
When he visits other bases, Wright said he always asks the Airmen what day their Wingman Day is. His answer: every day.
“Today is Wingman Day, so is yesterday and so is tomorrow,” he said. “We need to get into the mindset that every single day is Wingman Day. Every day we have a responsibility to our right and left … and to a certain extent I believe we’ve lost a little bit of that.”
“I would like to continue to get after some of the non-essential things. Everything in life and everything we do in the Air Force can’t be a priority. That’s why you’ve seen an emphasis from us to eliminate some of the additional duties, to continue to eliminate Air Force Instructions and publications to date.”
So far, Wright said Air Force senior leaders have rescinded 54 Air Force publications and 66 joint publications were eliminated. This month, another 23 Air Force publications will be rescinded. In addition, plans to remove some of the Computer Based Training requirements are also in discussion, Wright said.
“I want to be able to give you time to spend time with your family, or your dog,” Wright said as Airmen laughed. “So we’ll continue to get after that. I’ll be busy trying to clear things out so you can focus on training and taking care of each other and taking care of your teammates.”
A review of the Enlisted Evaluation System and changes made to the Enlisted Professional Military Education were also spotlighted by Wright.
He also mentioned new uniforms are being explored for Airmen, which Wright said are, “Better uniforms. It’s more functional.” If a new uniform is approved, squadron and unit patches would also be brought back, while the Air Force would get rid of morale shirts.
Wright opened the floor for questions, and some Airmen asked about the physical fitness test, the Exceptional Family Member Program and leadership roles in the Air Force.
Airmen applauded after Wright spoke his parting words.
“There’s probably no mission more important than what you do,” Wright said. “With space operations, missile warning and all the other things you do here at Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs —from the bottom of my heart — let me just say thank you, thank you, thank you.”