Commentary

May 4, 2012

It takes Airmen from every specialty to get job done

Commentary by Lt. Gen. David Goldfein
Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) — Recently, two of our U.S. Air Forces Central Command Airmen were criticized online by other Airmen for receiving Bronze Star decorations after completion of their deployments to Afghanistan.

I’d like to take this opportunity to explain the rigorous awards board process and emphasize the meticulous manner in which we ensure each award is justifiable and each recipient is worthy.

We recognize and honor our Airmen for their meritorious and heroic actions.

My AFCENT staff oversees a thorough awards approval process to ensure medals are presented to only the most commendable candidates. This 20-year decoration process has a demonstrated history of consistency, and we work hard to maintain its integrity.

Led by a general officer, the board of combat-experienced colonels and chief master sergeants carefully and deliberately guarantee our Airmen deserve the awards they receive.

I am the final approving authority for each medal.

Every day, our innovative Airmen excel in the deployed environment.

Consider the security forces Airman who helped protect his base from more than 2,500 disgruntled Afghan citizens. He stood his ground, despite suffering detached retinas, body bruises from thrown rocks and face wounds from high-powered pellet rifles.

Or the KC-135 maintainer who worked in minus-20-degree temperatures to extend the range and flexibility of our combat aircraft, which provide close air support to protect coalition ground forces battling
insurgents.

Or the finance officer who worked alongside special operations forces. She executed $160 million in operational funds across eight remote forward operating bases in support of counterinsurgency operations.

Or the combat controller who faced enemy fire and placed himself at grave risk on four occasions while controlling more than 30 aircraft and more than 40 airstrikes.

These are just a few examples of achievements that we reward in AFCENT.

No one Air Force specialty code is any more important than the next in this Theater — it takes the entire team working together to get the job done.

Airmen like Tech. Sgt. Christina Gamez and Tech Sgt. Sharma Haynes are the bedrock of our organization.

While we face a determined enemy, he is no match for this combined arms team. Together, with laser-like focus on our mission, with the knowledge that no challenge we may face is too much for innovative Airmen, and knowing that our cause is just … we will continue to deliver decisive airpower for CENTCOM and America.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Just American: A century of Black life

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) — Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted Harvard-trained historian Carter Woodson....
 
 

Don’t underestimate importance of sacrifices

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — As I was reviewing some enlisted performance reports and decorations, I started contemplating a huge event in my life that occurred almost 20 years ago. In April 1995, I asked my then girlfriend Tiffani, a fellow Airman at the time, to be my wife, for better or worse. We...
 
 

I wanted to die

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — Two months ago, I wanted to die. Allow me to clarify — I was not suicidal on that dark, August night when I hit rock bottom. I did not want to take a razor to my wrists. I did not want to swallow a bottle of pills. I did not want to...
 

 

What I’ve learned, an Airman’s perspective

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.  — When I raised my right hand and swore to defend my country, I wanted to travel the world and continue my education. I managed to accomplish the first, spending the first two years of my enlistment at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and Osan Air Base, South Korea, but my ever-changing...
 
 

Air Force Medicine: A vision for future

WASHINGTON  — The United States Air Force’s core missions are air and space superiority, ISR (intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance), rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control. These are almost identical (but in different terms) to the missions the Air Force had in 1947. But we now do these missions in three domains: Air, space...
 
 

I really shouldn’t be here

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — A couple of feet and a half a second. These may seem like insignificant measurements; but when combined with fatigue, a couple of feet almost cost me my career, and that half a second almost ended my life. There was a time when I was an enlisted aircraft electrical...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin