By Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Longfellow | 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
THULE AIR BASE, Greenland — The Chief of Staff of the Air Force visited Airmen at Thule Air Base, Greenland, July 20, 2019.
During his visit, Gen. David Goldfein toured various work centers to learn about the unique mission sets of the 821st Air Base Group and the 12th Space Warning Squadron, as well as observe how Thule is currently supporting the safe, stable, sustainable and secure space domain.
Thule supports three diverse mission sets: tactical warning of potential ballistic missile attacks against the United States and Canada as part of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System; providing space situational awareness by tracking manmade objects in orbit; and satellite command and control.
“Space capabilities are integral to our way of life, national security and modern warfare,” Goldfein said. “The more objects there are to track in space, the more difficult the job becomes. Our highly trained Airmen here are up to the task, and provide that space situational awareness to assure access to space.”
While at Thule, Goldfein received briefings about the base’s mission, met with Airmen and asked leaders for their thoughts and comments on improving the base.
During an Airmen all call, Goldfein covered topics such as multi-domain operations, joint leaders and teams, and the importance of squadrons in the Air Force.
“We are a family,” Goldfein said. “We take care of each other and we need bold and courageous leaders to lead the way. There is no more important mission than the one you are doing right now at Thule Air Base, and I could not be prouder of the work you’re doing.”
He also answered questions on topics of promotions, performance reports, manning within the Air Force and U.S. Space Command.
“The establishment of U.S. Space Command will bring full-time operations focus to defending our vital national interests in space,” Goldfein said. “Air Force Space Command Airmen no longer simply support the joint warfighter, they are the warfighters. We must think, train and be structured as warfighters in order to maintain U.S. space superiority as potential adversaries are increasingly making space a contested domain.”
Following the visit, the general shared a few thoughts and comments about the base and how well it continues to strengthen joint, multi-domain leaders and teams.
“Thule houses a large variety of organizations including NASA, National Science Foundation climatic, seismic and deep space research,” Goldfein said. “Thule also provides for NATO partner transshipment and resupply of Canadian and Danish bases, and very occasional long-distance flight training critical emergency medical support to the entire northern most landmass of Greenland, nearby sea-lanes and civilian aircraft.”
Thule AB was the last stop of Goldfein’s 10-day visit with allies and partners in Europe including Estonia, Finland, United Kingdom, Germany and Greenland.