USA: Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Visits NAS Pensacola
The 18th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff saw joint training in action and spoke with students, staff and family members during a visit to several commands on board Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Feb. 22.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), NAS Pensacola, Training Air Wing 6, the Air Force 479th Flying Training Group and the National Museum of Naval Aviation. Following his tour of the museum, Dempsey presented his command coin to nine service members from commands on NAS, held a town hall meeting in the museum atrium and spoke to members of the local media.
Topics of the town hall meeting included military transition, the defense budget, leadership, training and building the force of the future.
“We are a global force, and we need to remain capable of the full spectrum of operations from peacekeeping to nuclear deterrence – that is my commitment,” said Dempsey. “Keeping faith with you is important to me. That doesn’t just mean the right amount of money in your pocket, it means ensuring you remain the best trained, best led and best equipped force on the face of the planet.”
Rear Adm. Don Quinn, commander of the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) accompanied the chairman on his tours of the base and introduced him at the town hall meeting.
“The young service members training here in the Pensacola area will be the building blocks of the joint force of the future,” said Quinn. “The chairman choosing our area for one of his first tours and town hall meetings is a good indicator of how important he believes we are.”
Senior Chief Operations Specialist (SW) Eric Stevenson, fleet liaison leading chief for NAS Pensacola, received a command coin from Dempsey at a ceremony before the town hall meeting. Stevenson recently returned from a 400-day augmentation assignment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
“It’s nice to be recognized for doing a job that I really couldn’t brag about due to the classified nature of my duties in Afghanistan,” said Stevenson. “It was a real honor to receive a challenge coin from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.”
“I came to Pensacola because I want these military members to know that even though we are at a tough time in our history, we’ll get through it,” said Dempsey. “I want them to continue to be proficient in the particular skill we are asking them to master, but also to continue to develop as leaders so that we remain an adaptable force ready for anything the world hands us. They understand the importance of a lifetime of learning and development in the training and education world.”
Naval Today Staff , February 24, 2012; Image: navy