The world’s greatest

by CMSAF James Cody
Exclusive for Air Force Live

I just spent several days traveling through bases in Afghanistan and Southwest Asia with our chief of staff. Our focus was meeting our great Airmen, learning more about what they do and thanking them for their service.

Seeing how the men and women of the United States Air Force are making a difference for combatant commanders was truly impressive. Words simply cannot convey how proud I am of what our Airmen are doing for our nation.

I met Airmen in an EOD squadron at an undisclosed location who built a unique bomb sweeping attachment for a tactical vehicle. The contraption they created works so well they’re going to provide instructions and plans for making it to other EOD units around the theater – and maybe around the world. This kind of innovation is what Airmen are known and respected for.

I met Airmen who are maintaining airplanes older than their grandparents. Their technical expertise and dedication to mission ensures our Air Force can project airpower anywhere in the theater, whenever called upon.

I met special operations Airmen who take the fight to the enemy in ways we cannot even discuss publicly. They deliver precise, lethal strikes on carefully selected targets every single day.

Some of these Airmen have been deployed six, seven, eight times. Some are on their very first deployment. All are an inspiration.

In his new Vision for the United States Air Force, our chief of staff discusses Airmen, mission and innovation – in that order. Airmen come first for a reason.

Airmen are what make the Air Force great. They are the reason we can accomplish the mission. All the latest, most lethal technology in the world would be useless without Airmen to operate, maintain and support it.

What I’ve seen over the past several days in no way surprised me. I know very well what goes on in our Air Force. However, getting close to the mission and the Airmen executing it never fails to inspire me.

We truly are the world’s greatest Air Force, powered by Airmen, fueled by innovation.

– CMSAF Jim Cody