Members of Team Fairchild lock eyes on Gen. Paul Selva, the Air Mobility Command commander, as he talks about his three priorities for mobility Airmen, which are executing the mission, cultivating a caring and respectful workplace and training Airmen at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Dec. 12, 2012. The all call provided face-to-face communication between Selva and mobility Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Janelle Patino)
Gen. Paul Selva, the Air Mobility Command commander, answers a question from a member of Team Fairchild during an all call at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Dec. 12, 2012. Fairchild Airmen asked about a variety of topics, including deployments, congressional funding and curbing suicides in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patino)
Gen. Paul Selva, the Air Mobility Command commander, speaks with members of Team Fairchild inside the maintenance hangar during an all call at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., Dec. 12, 2012. The general recently took the reins of AMC and has made it a goal to visit with Airmen in person to explain his goals, priorities and expectations for everyone in the command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patino)
by Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
12/14/2012 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- During his visit to Fairchild Dec. 11, Gen. Paul Selva said the base is "an example for every other base in the Air Force" because of the way active duty Airmen and Air National Guardsmen here partner to execute the refueling mission.
The general recently took the reins of Air Mobility Command and has made it a goal to visit with Airmen in person to explain his goals, priorities and expectations for everyone in the command.
While at Fairchild, Selva held an all-call with Airmen, saying he felt it was important for him to be visible to his command and be reacquainted with the command's missions.
"I've been out of AMC for a while, so I'm really happy to be back," said the command pilot with more than 3,100 flight hours - most of them in mobility aircraft. "Things are a little different though and nothing is where I left it - the tech. sergeants and master sergeants I used to work with are chiefs; the lieutenants and captains are now lieutenant colonels and colonels. At headquarters, most of the stuff is still there, only everything has been moved around.
"So I'm still trying to find where everything is, but in the meantime, I want to get in front of Airmen, answer questions and present my vision for where we're headed," Selva added.
The general presented his three priorities for Mobility Airmen:
- Executing the mission
- Cultivating a caring and respectful workplace
- Training Airmen
"It's a fact that if you don't feel you work in a caring and respectful workplace, you won't be able to concentrate on your job," the general explained. "And Airmen need to be trained, not just with the right equipment, but to do the right things and do things right."
If leaders can ensure the last two, their Airmen will get the mission done every time, Selva said.
In addition to outlining the future of the mobility mission, Selva also took questions from the audience, promising "honest answers and only saying one time that I've only been the commander for 12 days," he said.
Fairchild Airmen asked about a variety of topics, including deployments, congressional funding and curbing suicides in the Air Force.
Selva reiterated the command's focus would shift from the Middle East to the Pacific in keeping with the president's national strategy outline. Everyone can still expect to continue flying their missions as the drawdown in Afghanistan proceeds on schedule, and there will probably be a continued footprint for Mobility Airmen in the region.
He also reinforced that despite on-going issues in congress and the threat of sequestration, Airmen can rest assured that certain bills are exempt from budget cuts - overseas contingency funding, military pay and benefits, and day-to-day operations. In the meantime, however, people should focus on the winter holidays and spending time with their families.
"If you forget Santa Claus, someone in your house is bound to be upset," the general joked.
Senior Air Force leaders are doing everything they can to "plan for every likely outcome," Selva added.
Selva also challenged front-line supervisors with helping mitigate suicides in the service.
"I think awareness is the key to turning the corner on suicides," Selva said. "We've all had annual training, but that's not enough; it doesn't guarantee you'll put what you learn in action. I'm convinced that awareness is what will help us. If you pay attention to your people and get to know them, you will notice when their behavior changes.
"And you'll hear me say this over and over again, you have to have a caring and respectful work environment; that's important to me," the general added.
Selva told the crowd of Airmen that more than anything, they need to be ready to do whatever is asked of them.
"I'm going to ask you to do hard things, but I have the supreme confidence that if you're well trained and well cared for, you'll be successful," Selva said. "Mobility Airmen make the impossible become easy."