Air Force

July 26, 2013

Twelfth CMSAF visits Nellis

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Joshua Kleinholz
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Eric Benken, the 12th CMSAF, speaks with members of the 99th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School staff during an orientation visit July 19 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Benken served as the CMSAF between 1996 and 1999.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. —  The 12th Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, Eric Benken, visited here July 19 touring facilities and speaking to Airmen who have been affected by decisions he made during his time in the position from 1996-1999.

The retired chief master sergeant was asked to serve as a guest speaker at a ceremony honoring Nellis AFB’s newest senior noncommissioned officers and took the opportunity to tour the base, learn about its various missions and meet with Airmen whom he considers “his extended family.”

“Any day that I can spend with Airmen is a great day,” said Benken, who retired in 1999 after 29 years of service. “To come out here and see their skills, their dedication and their professionalism continues to be an incredible opportunity; it always was.”

As Benken helped change the direction of the force from a Cold War mindset to an expeditionary focus, he saw the need to train Airmen to adapt to austere environments. He ensured funding for the establishment of a simulated deployed location at Lackland AFB, Texas, which all trainees visit during “BEAST Week” where, according to the official Air Force website, skills and tactics learned in BMT are tested in realistic field training exercises and combat scenarios.

“We found that we were not configured properly to meet the continuing demands of deployments,” Benken said. “Switching over to an expeditionary Air Force was a major cultural change because up until that time we had been primarily an in-garrison force.”

Calls for change were coming from other sources as well. Benken and other Air Force leaders resisted multiple congressional attempts to end gender-integration at Basic Military Training. Under plans proposed by some members of Congress, the Air Force would have returned to past methods of training males and females on separate sides of Lackland AFB.

“We were able to fight back on that, and in the end we won the day,” Benken said.

The retired chief also took time to visit the Airman Leadership School to speak to Nellis’ newest generation of leaders. During the visit, Benken discussed personal experiences as well as the three qualities he sees in a good Airman; discipline, standards and teamwork.

“The tools of our trade are lethal; people can get hurt,” he said, quoting former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Ronald Fogleman. “So it’s imperative that we hold ourselves to a higher standard at all times.”

Benken saw some of Nellis’ best. From the ongoing F-35 Lightning II program to the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight that was recently named the Air Force’s best.

“I’d just like to thank team Nellis for the opportunity, it’s obvious that there is some great leadership here,” Benken said. “The Airmen are thriving here and doing some great things.”




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

CDOS 2014 comes to a close

U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Many people view the Labor Day weekend as the end of summer and a last chance to travel, hit Lake Mead, fire up the grill or indulge in their favorite outdoor ...
 
 

Lomie G. Heard Elementary School faculty looking forward to new school year

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Dominga Romero (left), special programs teacher assistant, and Terri Gravnitz (right), early childhood special education teacher, prepare their classroom for the start of the new school year at Lomie G. Heard Elementary School on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 21. The new school year...
 
 

Revisiting, examining four elements of leadership

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Whenever I see a new revision of the Professional Development Guide, I find myself reflecting on an experience I had meeting an awards board almost 20 years ago. I was a young staff sergeant and my flight chief was a panel member. He came up with a question from the 1993...
 

 

Deeds, not words make ‘quiet professionals’

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — As I was preparing for my assumption of command of the 60th Aerial Port Squadron, I was learning as much as I could about the squadron. One thing I immediately looked at was our squadron patch, because I wanted to see the emblem that represents the squadron to the rest of...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Joint U.S. forces train together during integrated Green Flag exercise

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 309th Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., taxis to the runway during Green Flag-West 14-10 at Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 21. Green ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay

Get your caffeine at Coolbeans café

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay The Coolbeans Café, a coffee shop serving Starbucks is now open in Hangar 1003 to serve the Airmen of Creech Air Force Base. Airmen interested in getting out of their work cent...
 




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