Chief Master Sgt. Air Force JoAnne S. Bass delivered a speech at the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber ââConference, in National Harbor on September 20.
âWhat remains a constant in my mind is where we are today, where we need to be tomorrow and what are the things we need to do now to be ready to answer our nation’s callâ¦ to anytime, anywhere, âBass said. “We are indeed at this inflection point in history, where the choices we make today will have lasting impacts on the world we will have tomorrow.”
Bass also mentioned the challenges posed by America’s close competitors.
âDuring this incredible journey through the Air Force, I have learned that service in our Air Force is more like a marathon than a sprint,â she said. âWe need our airmen on duty today to think in these terms, because there are forces in this world that also believe they are in a marathon. China is one of them.
She detailed the threat of the Chinese Communist Party’s desire to expand its sphere of influence and explained the need for airmen to prepare and think long term.
âWhether it’s China or any other strategic competitorâ¦ I need every aviator to understand that future conflict will never look like it has been in the past,â Bass said. âIt will span multiple areas, using all the advantages and tactics on military and non-military targets. The high-level fight we need to prepare for could be unlike anything we’ve ever faced in our history, and will require us to accelerate the change we need today to win tomorrow.
She stressed the importance of Brown’s action orders of Speed ââup change or lose.
âWhen I talk to our airmen, I let them know that these words can’t just be buzzwords,â she said.
Bass explained how Air Force leadership must clearly set expectations and get out of the way to let their Airmen accomplish the mission.
âOne way to help define the expectations we have for our employees is by Leadership qualities of aviators that we released last spring, âBass said. âThey are the roadmap, qualities and skills that we expect from our Airmen. “
She said these qualities – to execute the mission, lead people, manage resources and improve the unit – are incorporated into the feedback used to develop Airmen, and that Airmen are already leveraging these leadership qualities to accomplish the mission.
“Of our Air National Guard firefighters, battling California wildfires, to our (Tactical Air Control Party specialists) leveraging innovation and technology to deliver real-world, real-time information to these frontline firefighters, â Bass said. âOur teamwork remains unmatched.
Bass also mentioned the recent achievements of Airmen providing aid and support to refugees from Afghanistan.
“Just a few weeks ago in Afghanistan, it was our airmen who mobilized to transport and give hope to more than 120,000 vulnerable Afghans,” said Bass. âThe adaptability, agility, and readiness of our active duty and reserve aviators led to nine newborns being delivered aboard (C-17 Globemaster III). It is our Airmen and their families around the world who have shown incredible resilience, providing shelter, security and a chance to have a better life for these Afghan families, while also modeling humanity and what does the law look like.
She said she is continually impressed to see Airmen innovate and overcome adversity.
âIt’s our Airmen who inspire me when I think about the future of our force,â Bass said. âThe Air Force of 2030 will not be built in the Pentagon – it is built in our squadrons and our work centers. It’s built by you, inspiring your staff to improve your readiness and create a culture that values diversity, inclusion and respect. It’s up to you to build the Air Force we need. It’s up to us at the Pentagon to help you.