by Thea Skinner
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy shared a view through his lens during a briefing and question and answer session at the Peterson Air Force Base auditorium Aug. 25.
“I am a force provider – that is what we do,” he said. “Here at Peterson you provide a warfighter capability. You are making the battlefield in most cases.”
He discussed key focus areas such as training, base development and the 2009 Year of the Air Force Family in his first Peterson visit since his appointment as the Air Force’s senior-ranking enlisted member in June.
Chief Roy formerly served as senior enlisted leader and adviser to the U.S. Pacific Command as a combatant commander and staff at Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii. Currently, he is the 16th chief master sergeant of the Air Force and serves as the personal adviser to the Air Force Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Air Force on issues concerning the enlisted force.
“The things you do for the combatant command do not go without recognition – we realize you have a mission here,” he said. “We want to help you to define and highlight that mission.”
With a conscious eye on global training, Chief Roy mentioned the need for Airmen to train in other nations.
“As an Air Force we work globally,” he said. “I am confident we can do that. What I am telling you is we need to focus out a bit. What does the chief master sergeant of the Air Force look like 10 or 20 years out? We need to continue to provide that expertise and move forward. We have to focus on being the best Airmen we can be. I focused on being the best Airmen I could be and taking care of those who worked for me.”
The Year of the Air Force Family began July 2009 and continues through July 2010. In conjunction with this theme, enhancing existing programs such as the Exceptional Family Member Program and child development center hours of operation is key, Chief Roy said.
Chief Roy’s visit came on the heels of his briefing to the Air Force Sergeants Association’s 2009 Professional Airmen’s Conference in Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 15 to 19. Tech Sgt. Melissa Somers, 21st Medical Support Squadron, noncommissioned officer in charge of the clinic and pharmacy, represented Team Pete and Peterson’s Air Force Sergeants Association chapter 1181 at the conference.
“He was very honest and spent a lot of time speaking on the Year of the Air Force Family – building more child development centers,” she said.
Chief Roy also said the Air Force is at its end strength of more than 330,000 Airmen. With that, he said some Airmen will need to change career fields to help meet demands for certain positions.
“We are going to ask some of you to retrain.”