NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Chief Master Sgt. David Wolfe, Pacific Air Forces command chief, provided his unique perspective during Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference Command Chiefs’ Perspective panel, Sept. 22.
Other highly experienced enlisted leader panelists included Chief Master Sgts. Amber Mitchell, Senior Leader to the Chief Human Capital Officer at U.S. Space Force Headquarters; Timothy White Jr., Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of Air Force Reserves; Daniel Simpson, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Director at Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
“Being in the Pacific, it’s appropriate that I have my three friends on stage with me,” Wolfe explained. “With the vast area we have to cover, about half the globe, we can’t do it without the Space Force or Reserve component.”
While acknowledging the importance of working with other U.S. military branches to successfully operate in the Indo-Pacific, Wolfe noted how critical building interoperability with foreign nations is for the region.
“We certainly don’t do what we do in the Pacific without our Allies and Partners, it’s a huge piece of our day-to-day operations,” Wolfe said. “You can’t do anything in the Pacific without total force integration. We can’t do our job without our various partners across the globe.”
Following up the expressed need for strong relationships within the region, Wolfe highlighted what Airmen do that helps to develop the critical alliances and partnerships.
“Just about everyone in this room has sat through some sort of Professional Military Education where you’ve learned from other careers, asked the right questions, and paid attention,” Wolfe said. “That’s really what our sister-service and joint relationships are based on – that kind of relentless curiosity. Asking what the needs of the other person are will help accomplish our shared mission.”
Although relationships with allies and partners is key, Wolfe challenged attendees to focus on mastering their craft and building on trust.
“We need to focus on and build trust,” Wolfe said. “We need to be able to trust our Airmen and push authorities down to the lowest level. If we don’t, we can’t expect our Agile Combat Employment concepts to work, where a captain and a technical sergeant will have to make decisions on an island in the Pacific.”
In his closing remarks, Wolfe provided his insight to helping Airmen understand what is at stake.
“We have a responsibility to educate down to our lowest ranking Airman about China,” Wolfe said. “They need to understand the level of competition we are in every day.”