OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, visited the men and women of Osan Air Base, Oct. 17, here.
In addition to Brown, Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Johnson, PACAF command chief, toured the installation as part of a three-day visit to the Peninsula, including bilateral engagements with Republic of Korea key defense and military leaders, a visit to the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2019, and stops at Kunsan Air Base and Camp Humphreys to visit with Airmen and families.
While gaining an in-depth exposure of the installation’s unique mission, PACAF leadership used the visit as an opportunity to explain Pacific Air Force’s priorities and how vital Team Osan is in contributing to the Indo-Pacific region’s security and stability.
During an all call, Brown commended Team Osan for their efforts since his last visit to the installation in August 2018. Addressing a packed crowd of Airmen in the Weapons Load Training Hangar, he focused on the attributes of the Air Force We Need.
“Thinking differently about how we do things associated with four key points -- connect the joint force, dominate in space, generate combat power and move to win,” said Brown. “Some of the things you’ve done and equipment you’ve used in the past will be different in the future. As we go forward with next year’s and fiscal year 2021’s budget, there’ll be hard choices to be made to keep us ready to not only ‘fight tonight’ or tomorrow, but for the next decades.”
While looking forward to the future, Brown also reminisced about the U.S. military’s past to emphasize the importance and prioritization of the theater’s role and how to adopt new mindsets and direct resources to strengthen the force.
“The Indo-Pacific as a theater is the priority theater,” said Brown, referencing a Department of Defense Indo-Pacific strategy report from June. “I like emphasizing this to remind [military and government leaders] in the nation’s capital and abroad about what’s going on in the Korean Peninsula and throughout the region and why we’re important.”
For the region and across the entire Air Force, Brown called for the need to be better organized, trained and equipped across all Air Force Major Commands. By instilling new operating concepts and agile combat employment practices, he sees these objectives could be enhanced, starting with elite Airmen.
“We need multi-functional Airmen that can get the job done,” said Brown. “I don’t care what your Air Force specialty code is. That’s an important aspect going forward and it’s important to change the mindset about how we look at things and plan to operate. The goal I want to accomplish is that we can operate from any airfield, anywhere and anytime to create challenges for our adversaries.”
While dedicated to presenting challenges to adversaries, Brown acknowledged the Air Force’s own obstacles to hurdle including talent management and retention, promotion systems and resiliency.
Johnson spoke at the all call on enlisted initiatives including the removal of reenlistments for technical sergeants after 12 years of service, joint custody assignments, retraining opportunities and the status of senior non-commissioned officer testing.
“A passionate topic is the removal of the senior non-commissioned officer testing program,” Johnson said. “By looking strictly at the evaluation program for promotion, it’ll be performance based without Professional Development Guide testing. This will be the first year senior NCOs go through the boarding process and will continue this process with all master sergeants next year.”
After hosting an open forum Q&A before the all call’s conclusion, Brown and Johnson toured facilities with base leaders, including potential renovation projects, a new dormitory and an Air and Space Operations simulator.
Before his departure, Brown imparted Team Osan with an open communication policy.
“Chief Johnson and I work for you to make your jobs easier,” said Brown. “If you don’t tell us your concerns, we can’t make changes. We are here to serve you and we want to help in any way we can.”