PACAF chief meets Yokota Airmen
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Pacific Air Forces Command Chief Master Sgt. Steve McDonald visited Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 7 to 8, to hear from Airmen and to see first-hand the professional airlift mission and those who make it happen here.
McDonald conducted an all-call during his visit, meeting with all enlisted Airmen stationed at Yokota. He began the forum by thanking Yokota Airmen for all they do.
"We are appreciative and understanding to the difference you make to our mission and to this theater," McDonald said. "We are the best Air Force in the world because of you [Airmen]. We can't do anything that we do without you."
While addressing Yokota's enlisted force, McDonald stressed the importance of communication and emphasized respect amongst Airmen.
"We need to care for one another and continue our culture of dignity and respect," he said.
McDonald reinforced the "golden rule," stating that Airmen should treat each other with the same respect they would like to receive in return, and added that the culture of respect covers more than just Airman-to-Airman relationships.
"We are guests in Japan. You wear the United States Air Force uniform," he added. "Every time you walk outside that gate, whether you are wearing the uniform or not, everything you do reflects on everyone in this theater. As you walk, live and work here, be good ambassadors."
McDonald noted the importance of enforcing standards and discussed ways in which non-commissioned officers can step up their leadership and engage their Airmen.
"Holding people accountable is big," he added. "We need to make sure supervisor who set the standards are enforcing those standards. We need that in today's Air Force."
A tough subject was also brought up by the new command chief - suicide. McDonald said there are ways to help Airmen through difficult times by taking care of and talking with each other. The chief added the importance of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness and having social, mental, physical and spiritual strength.
"Comprehensive Airmen Fitness ensures Airmen have the tools and techniques to face adversity," he said. "You will face adversity. We work you hard. The operations haven't stopped here and they won't stop anytime soon, so having those tools will help with the stresses you may face."
McDonald stressed the importance of communication and said Airmen should tell their leadership if something doesn't make sense. He continued with that theme when he opened the floor to questions and concerns from Yokota's Airmen.
Later in the evening, McDonald attended Yokota's Chief Induction Ceremony, where he was the guest speaker. He shared experiences with Yokota's newest chiefs and expressed his expectations.
"Tonight, what I pass on to my chiefs is that we have challenges ahead of us," McDonald said. "I need you to engage. I need you to use the power that you are to be given, the access you are going to be given, to help me and help the rest of us take care of our Airmen."