Pacific Air Forces commander visits Yokota
YOKOTA AIR BASE - Gen. Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle, Pacific Air Forces commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Brooke McLean, Pacific Air Forces command chief, visited Yokota Oct. 24 to discuss current Air Force issues.
The general addressed several issues that are important to him, including Airmen taking care of Airmen and the strategic shift to the Pacific. He also told Yokota Airmen what they can expect from him.
"My job is to take care of you ... to be out front and set the example," said the general. "I would never ask you to do something that I wouldn't do. I believe that the key to success is attitude, aptitude and opportunity. You have aptitude. It's amazing the quality people we have in our Air Force. The opportunities are out there. You may not always see them, but they are out there. The one thing you control 100 percent is your attitude. You own that. How you approach life is all you."
Even so, he emphasized the Air Force doesn't want or intend for Airmen to go it alone.
Having each other's back is vital to mission success, the commander said. Both Carlisle and McLean said their families and friends were always there to support them when they faced personal and professional difficulties.
"Every Airman's situation is different, but it goes back to teamwork," Carlisle said. "We have to get our arms around these folks and take care of them. This is all about teamwork. The reason we are so good at what we do is because we have each other's back."
Another important topic Carlisle mentioned was the strategic shift to the Pacific and what that means for Yokota. The base's ability to closely engage with its neighbors will be an advantage as PACAF continues to foster relationships with other nations.
"Yokota has a huge mission," Carlisle said. "The 374th Airlift Wing [engages] with nations throughout this region from northeast Asia to the South China Sea. Everything in the Pacific goes through Japan, and Yokota is the heart of that."
Carlisle also outlined his expectations for PACAF Airmen.
"What I expect is for you to do the job and step up," Carlisle said. "If you need help, ask for it. If something is not fair and equitable in your shop, you're going to step forward and say, 'Hey, there's a problem.' Give your leaders an opportunity to fix it. I expect you to do the right thing. Do your job and make that happen."
Lastly, the general said he's honored to lead PACAF and thanked service members and their families for their sacrifice.
"I am absolutely humbled by this opportunity, and I'm incredibly fortunate to be in the position I am in," said Carlisle. "I am proud and honored to stand side-by-side with what I believe is the greatest generation, and [the U.S.] owes a debt of gratitude for everything [Airmen] do."
During the commander's three-day tour, he visited several Yokota facilities and spoke with key leaders, including Japanese Lt. Gen. Harukazu Saitoh, Air Defense Command commander.