Joint Base Andrews, Md. --
Maj. Gen. Sam Barrett, 18th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Todd Petzel, 18th AF command chief, visited the 89th Airlift Wing at JBA, Md., Dec. 11-13.
Barrett and Petzel met with Airmen from several units around the wing to better understand how the team overcomes modern-day challenges in the Air Force to complete the mission.
The visit allowed Barrett to recognize Airmen through the wing and express his priorities of leading with Core Values, attacking the mission in a positive way, making things better, seeking perfection, and working as a team.
Barrett and Petzel first stopped at the 89th Communications Squadron, where Airmen explained their part in ensuring communication system networks remain online and highly capable to meet demands.
Barret offered insight to each unit on how important it is to be an Airman in today’s military.
“Remember, we are Warrior Airmen first. Never forget that,” said Barrett. “When the time calls on us to act, we need to be there and take action to save lives.”
As he stood in the room surrounded by more than 40 communications Airmen, Barrett added that each and every one of them was important to the mission and that they were all a part of a loving, supportive family — A family which Barrett said he is very proud to serve.
From communications to base operations, maintenance and everywhere in between, each unit was able to showcase how innovation from the lowest levels were positively affecting job processes and resource management.
Barrett and Petzel talked with Airmen who complete the wing’s mission day in and day out, they even recognized a few outstanding Airmen who have stepped above and beyond their duties.
Senior Airman Jose Gomez, 89th Maintenance Group maintenance operations center controller, received recognition from the commander and command chief for procuring and acquiring updated flightline security cameras after arriving on station and recognizing a need for an updated system.
“What I want you to focus on when you come to work is to look at what’s in front of you…Control what you can control,” said Barrett. “Look at what you can do to make everything in your control even better, and do that with a positive attitude.”
The visit ended with an All Call where members of the 89th AW were invited to ask questions and hear the 18th AF’s top priorities. Barrett was able to drive home a few major points regarding the importance of the airlift mission to the Air Force.
“We are a superpower because of our mobility, the mobility machine that can deliver combat forces to any place at any time,” said Barrett. “It’s extraordinary what you accomplish every day, and the Air Force depends on you for perfection.”
Barrett gave the floor over to Petzel who is soon to retire after 30 years in the military.
“I hope each and every one of you continue to strive to be better tomorrow than you were today. Ask yourselves how you can enhance the mission by being an innovator, a role model and team player,” said Petzel. “Attitude is everything and positive relationships matter on a team.”
Petzel added that the Air Force has been the championship team for the past 71 years, that he was happy to have served, and happy that the 89th AW was his final visit.