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 Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

Red Flag 15-3 wraps up

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 69th Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., lands during Red Flag 15-3 at Nellis AFB, Nev., July 21. A typical Red Flag exercise in...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Darin Russell

Ground testing for F-35 gun conducted at Edwards AFB

Lockheed Martin photograph by Darin Russell An F-35A Lightning II, tail number AF-2, fires a burst of rounds down range at the Edwards Gun Harmonizing Range on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., July 17. The F-35 Joint Strike Figh...
 
 

Separated but not alone

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about was, “how am...
 

 

Mishap prevention 101

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Here is something I would like to share with my readers. This information is geared toward supervisors, but we all play a part in the mishap prevention program, and when we know better, we tend to do better. I will discuss a few things supervisors should do within their...
 
 
raptor

Raptor pilots reach 1,000 flight hours in F-22

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz Majs. Ethan Waitte and Thomas Borrego, 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron pilots, stand with Lt. Col. Matt Allen, 422nd TES F-22 Raptor test director, after returning from ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

Creech Airmen showcase RPA at Canadian airshow

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Senior Airman Kaitlyne LaRocque, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron MQ-1 Predator crew chief, left, and Staff Sgt. Craig Stewart, 432nd AMXS MQ-1 crew chief, prepare a...
 




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>