NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Dr. Ashton Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense, held an installation all-call Nov. 6, at the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” hangar on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
The all-call was part of Carter’s farewell tour to Department of Defense installations and was attended by more than 175 Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Base.
Carter was appointed to the position of U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense by President of the United States Barack Obama and assumed the role as of Oct. 5, 2011. The Deputy Secretary of Defense is the second highest ranking official in the DOD and acts as the principal civilian deputy to the Secretary of Defense.
During the event, Carter discussed the future of the DOD and thanked Airmen for their support over the course of his tenure as deputy secretary of defense.
“You are here at the [forefront]of the great strategic transition our country is making,” Carter said. “Nellis is the center of gravity for the Air Forces’ future.”
Airmen were also able to ask Carter questions on a variety of issues still affecting Airmen such as the future of the budget and possible changes to deployments.
“Like you here, we are doing our best to manage through the situation and do the least amount of damage that we possibly can,” Carter said. “I know you are trying to do the same here.”
Carter went on to emphasize how proud he was of the job that Airmen continued to do despite the difficulties of dealing with an uncertain budget situation over the past few months.
“[I] really came here to say thank you for all you do for our country,” he added. “Don’t take for granted what you do. Thank you for your dedication and patience.”
Carter also took time during his visit to tour units under the 57th Maintenance Squadron, shake hands of Airmen and recognize exceptional performers. The tour marked his final trip to Nellis as the deputy secretary of the defense.
“It’s been an honor,” said Carter. “My greatest privilege was representing our men and women of the armed forces.”