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.


 
 

 

SECDEF visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases during an all-call at the Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit hangar on Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 26. Carter’s department is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluations for the...
 
 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

WASHINGTON — The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

From throttle to brakes: ACMS maintainers make RPA missions possible

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Airman 1st Class Stephen Parker, 432nd Aircraft Communications Maintenance Squadron ground control station maintainer, powers a ground data terminal used to transmit si...
 

 

Dempsey: U.S. forces must adapt to deal with near-peer competitors

COPENHAGEN — For the first time since the end of the Soviet Union, the United States is facing a near-peer threat, and that is unsettling to many in the services, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here Aug. 17. Following meetings with Danish Chief of Defense Army Gen. Peter Bartram and his...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo

RPAs prove vital in fight against ISIL

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo An MQ-9 Reaper performs touch-and-go flight patterns June 13, 2014, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. The Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-enduranc...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

CJCS visits Creech, gives praise to Airmen

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks during an all-call at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 12. This visit was the last domestic ...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>