SecAF makes first visit to Robins Air Force Base

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • Robins Public Affairs
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James visited Robins Air Force Base this week to get an up close look at the installation's diverse and dynamic missions.

This was the Secretary's first visit to the installation, where she spent two days touring several areas of Georgia's largest industrial complex, taking an opportunity to meet with active duty, Guard, Reserve, civilians and contractors at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, 78th Air Base Wing and the 116th and 461st Air Control wings.

During a Robins All Call conducted Friday at the Museum of Aviation, James described the experiences of her visit, confirming what she'd heard about the excellence evident at the base.

"I think you bring the 'wow' factor to the United States Air Force. I have been uniformly impressed with everyone I have met, with all of the missions you are working on, as well as the energy, passion, dedication and professionalism that you are bringing in each of your respective areas," she said.

She outlined her top three priorities of taking care of people, balancing today's readiness with tomorrow's modernization and the importance of making every dollar count.

James said she was encouraged by success stories she learned while at Robins, such as better communication efforts, teamwork and the focus on processes, procedures and safety, which all contribute to a good work environment.

"You've been an extremely busy team, with everything from flying sensitive reconnaissance missions, to deployed air traffic control, to depot-level maintenance, as well as partnering with your local community in many ways," said the Secretary continued.

She spoke on the importance of readiness, citing recent events in Iraq and how the Air Force must be able to respond when needed.
She also predicted the Air Force of the future will not only be more technologically advanced, but also smaller in an environment of tight budgets.

"What is our Air Force going to look like?" James asked rhetorically. "It needs to be modern, we need to keep our technological edge and we need to make sure we are more agile. All of this requires us to put policy, process and procedures and funding in place today."

The Secretary said there will be continued talk among Air Force leaders on important programs of tomorrow, such as the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, the KC-46A Pegasus tanker, the Long Range Strike Bomber and the future of the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System.

"We will also invest more in space and in our nuclear enterprise going forward," she said. "Getting the balance between today and tomorrow is tricky business, particularly in this tight budget environment."

James thanked the Robins workforce for their dedication, and said she looked forward to returning in the future to learn more.

"Thank you for everything you are doing here. As I've travelled around the Air Force, I haven't come across any crowd that is more impressive than the people I have met here. Thank you for your focus on people, on readiness, and for your efforts on making every dollar count," she said.