AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar — More than 300 members of Al Udeid Air Base filled the Coalition Compound Theater Oct. 21 to hear U.S. Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, share his perspective on several topics during an all-call event.
A resounding message the general delivered was one of thanks.
“Thank you for what you do in service to your nation,” Carlisle said. “What you’re doing is absolutely extraordinary. It’s unbelievable.”
In the past year, the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing has flown 20,000 combat sorties, transported more than 1,000 patients on aeromedical evacuation missions and off-loaded more than 734 million pounds of fuel.
“The U.S. Air Force provides 75 to 85 percent of the mobility, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and 100 percent of the air refueling for everything we do in the Middle East,” he added. “A large part of that is what the 379th AEW produces.”
These are great accomplishments that are possible because of America’s Airmen, he said.
“Our Airmen are the next ‘greatest generation’ and the greatest of this generation,” he said. “We have great equipment, but ultimately, our asymmetric advantage against any adversary is the quality, character, discipline and professionalism of our Airmen and I see it every day.”
“What you’re doing every day and how you meet the mission – during what is likely the most complex and challenging battlefield our nation has probably ever faced – is incredible,” he added.
Carlisle stressed that what today’s airmen do matters to many.
“What we do matters. We make a difference in the world even though you don’t always see it,” he said. “There’s a tendency to get focused on your job, but when you step back and look at it, you’re changing lives and doing something that’s bigger than you and for the greater good.”
Recognizing that the U.S. Air Force has limited resources, Carlisle asked every service member in attendance to be innovative.
“We have to innovate and find better ways to do things,” he said. “Today we have more mission requirements than we have money, manpower or time.”
“You’re the ones who know how to do things better. You’re the ones out there making things happen and you know how we get from point A to point B,” he said. “I need your help to figure out better ways to do things.”