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NEWS | Jan. 31, 2014

PACAF Commander Visits Team Osan

By Senior Airman Siuta B. Ika 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Gen. Hawk Carlisle, Pacific Air Forces commander, visited Jan. 21-23 to get a first-hand look at Team Osan members accomplishing the mission.

During his visit, General Carlisle met with Airmen from across the base during an Airman's call to discuss force management.

"I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate what you do every day," Carlisle said. "I hate the concept that we have all these great Airmen and they've done everything we've asked them to do, but we're breaking faith by not holding up our end of the deal. That's terrible, and I wish we didn't have to do it, but we've got to build the best possible Air Force we can with the budget that we have."

The general then went on to make two promises to all in attendance.

"One is that every single Airman will be able to have a one-on-one discussion with their supervisor or commander to find out where they stand, what their options are, and what the future looks like," Carlisle said. "We owe that to every single Airman out there, so I promise you that you will know what your options are. The second promise is that we will do everything in our power to take care of you - whether you stay in or choose to get out."

Carlisle said although PACAF and the Air Force may be currently enduring difficult times, Airmen have always been able to overcome whatever adversity placed in their path.

"When I started in the Air Force in 1974, the Air Force was a hollow force - there was an entire flight line of F-15s at Luke (Air Force Base, Ariz.) that didn't even have engines yet," the COMPACAF said. "But we came out of that and now we are the asymmetric power of our nation. We got rid of the fourth largest Air Force in the world in a matter of hours in Iraq. We took a tyrannical regime down in Yugoslavia without putting one person on the ground. Today in Iraq and Afghanistan, there's not one ground commander who will go near a potential for combat area without air power. Think of how far we've come through the tough times."

General Carlisle concluded with a call to action.

"We're a service born out of innovation, and a long time ago we decided we're going to go over things, not through them, and that is what we need now," General Carlisle said. "You have the answers, you're the ones that make the mission happen every day and I've seen it over the past few days. I want to thank you again, and just tell you that what you do matters. At some point in the future, whether you stay in for 3 or 33 years, you'll look back and say 'I did something that mattered and made other people's lives better.'"

This article was originally published at: http://www.osan.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123377951
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