NEWS | Aug. 9, 2019

Meet the Pacific Air Forces command chief

By Senior Airman Denise Jenson 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --

During his all call, Johnson discussed his views on the importance of understanding the culture and climate Airmen live in, as well as remaining resilient in and out of the workplace.

Johnson also had the opportunity to sit down and talk about some of his leadership philosophies as the PACAF command chief, in which he mentioned the significance and value of Airmen that come to work every day to do their best and knowing they have a significant role in mission success.

“They know, right here, right now, here’s what we’re coming to do and here is the impact I have,” Johnson said. “Our Airmen see a direct impact to the mission sets and from that standpoint they have an appreciation and they value what they do.”

Johnson also talked with Airmen about his perspective on keeping an emphasis on overall mission readiness.

“The guidance I have is very similar to the guidance our boss would have: to be ready, resilient and postured for the future,” Johnson said. “One of the things that I’m asking is that readiness underpins all the things we do. We’re here to do one thing and that’s to really hone the skills of our warfighting capabilities and be able to project airpower throughout the command. If we can take that concept, and if we funnel it down and align those things to where our Airman understand it at the lowest level we can accomplish anything.”

Although Johnson is the enlisted advisor for more than 45,000 Airmen and personnel across the entire Pacific forces, he had a direct message for those serving at Osan.

“This is not the Korea of old - we’ve changed, our mission set has changed and our community has changed,” Johnson said. “Our Korean partners are ironclad. We have one of the strongest partnerships you can have within our Air Force around the globe right here, and more important is when you look at it, we train together, we fight together and we have fun together.

“Coming here is probably one of the best assignments you’ll ever have and I would love to keep you more than one year,” Johnson continued. “I want our Airmen to go somewhere else and say ‘You know, my best assignment was in the Pacific and I want to go back.’”

Additionally, Johnson touched on the topic of resiliency, in light of recent remarks from Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright regarding the increasing rate of suicide across the U.S. Air Force.

“Resiliency isn’t always just about the operational aspect of being able to reset and do other things, it’s also making sure we’re taking care of our Airmen because without them all of our things out there are just pieces of equipment,” Johnson said. “We need to be operationally relevant, but we also need to ask ourselves how we take care of our team, holistically and overall. I’m concerned about that.”

Johnson reminded Airmen that for many, this could be a person’s first assignment and understanding what new Airmen are feeling is an important step in ensuring a person knows they are taken care of.

“We’re away from our families, and so when an 18-year-old comes here, their family is the people they serve with while they are here,” Johnson said. “So how do we take care of some young Airman who’s from some small town or big town in the U.S. and wrap our arms around them to the point where they have the faith and trust that all of those around them have their best interest at heart?”

During his visit, Johnson also visited Airmen assigned to the 604th Air Support Operations Squadron at Camp Humphrey, RoK, hosted a breakfast with Airmen from Osan and attended the senior noncommissioned officer induction ceremony at the Officer’s Club on base.