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 by Airman 1st Class Alexander Guerrero

82nd Airborne integrates with USAFWS for JFE 14B

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Guerrero Eleven C-130H Hercules’ from various Air National Guard units and 13 C-130J Super Hercules’ from the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, prepare to...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

Sweet treats delivered to Airmen in dorms

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Airman 1st Class Devonte Robinson, 99th Medical Support Squadron (left) receives a freshly baked cookies from Master Sgt. Sharon Tyree, 99th MDSS first sergeant, during the...
 
 

Thunderbirds release 2015 show schedule

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have finalized their 2015 show schedule. In its 62nd season, the team is slated to perform 71 demonstrations at 39 locations. The flying unit, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform its first public flyover of 2015 at the...
 

 
Courtesy photo

SecAF: ISIL fight requires comprehensive approach

Courtesy photo Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James WASHINGTON — The air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is working as part of the ongoing joint effort to disrupt, degrade and destroy the terrorist ...
 
 

Family Dynamics: CMSAF, wife Athena talk about AF life at home

U.S. Air Force photo by Michael J. Pausic Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and his wife, Athena, pose for a photo at the Air Force Association’s 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept.16, 2013, in Washington D.C. FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — In a special edition of...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

Nellis Airman powered by innovation

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Master Sgt. Shane Sneary, an Air Force Repair Enhancement Program manager with the 57th Maintenance Group, answers questions during an interview with the 2nd Combat Camera ...
 




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