KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., visited Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 11, to meet with Team Kadena face-to-face, learn more about the base’s mission, and share his strategic insight with Airmen delivering airpower every day in support of a free-and-open Indo-Pacific.
At an all-call with Kadena personnel, Brown stressed the importance of empowering Airmen at all levels to deliver innovative solutions to keep pace with the complex operational and strategic challenges that shape U.S. military operations in this region.
“Good enough today will fail tomorrow,” Brown explained. “As Airmen, we need to integrate and accelerate the changes necessary to develop our talent and maintain our advantage. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable; we cannot rest on our laurels…we must change and evolve to the threats we face today.”
Brown’s strategic approach emphasizes the need to accelerate change to control and exploit the air domain in an environment that includes, but is not limited to, declining resources, aggressive global competitors, and rapid technology development and diffusion.
“The key aspect is mission command,” he said. “Successful operations and combat support in a contested environment demand maximum delegation, trust, and empowerment of Airmen before conflict starts.”
Brown also emphasized the value of strengthening relationships with regional allies and partners, while maintaining a long-term “campaigning” mindset toward upholding regional stability. He closed the all-call by answering questions about leadership, families, and future challenges, while hitting on the importance of keeping up with individual mental health and resilience.
Throughout the day, Brown recognized numerous star performers while visiting units across the base. When he stopped by the Innovation Lab to see current Shogun Spark projects, Brown presented the eighth annual Gen. Larry O. Spencer Innovation Award to Master Sgt. Jason Yunker, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron section chief of fuels quality and compliance.
The award recognized Yunker for his work on the Versatile Integrating Partner Equipment Refueling (VIPER) kit and other on-going efforts to enhance the Air Force’s ability to flexibly refuel aircraft in austere locations anywhere in the world, exemplifying Brown’s vision of leveraging Airmen innovations to accelerate change.
Brown also visited the 18th Wing Agile Combat Employment (ACE) office to discuss how Team Kadena is executing and refining local ACE concepts while developing Multi-Capable Airmen ready to rapidly deliver sustained, survivable airpower from dispersed locations across the Indo-Pacific should the need arise.
Brown will continue his tour with scheduled visits to Kunsan and Osan Air Bases, Republic of Korea, and Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.