Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, 3rd Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Phillip Easton, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa command chief and former 3rd Air Force command chief, participated in an immersion tour of the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing Feb. 3.
During the tour, they reminded Airmen to balance their priorities across work and their personal lives.
Clark and Easton spoke in terms of their command priorities, which are executing the mission, inspiring Airmen and taking care of families.
“Those are the three priorities the chief and I think are key and critical,” Clark said. “Not in any particular order, we need to find that balance. Strike that balance between those priorities every day, make that conscious effort.”
The immersion tour began with a mission brief by Col. Andra V.P. Kniep, 435 AGOW commander, where she broke down each group and what they do. The group commanders, 435 AGOW command chief and several spouses also attended the meeting.
After the brief, Clark and Easton toured the wing headquarters building, as well as displays from individual squadrons within the 4th Air Support Operations Group, 435th Air and Space Communications Group, and 435th Contingency Response Group. They also ate lunch with several 435 AGOW Airmen.
“What these Airmen do is tough, but to see the motivation, the smiles on their faces and how proud they are of what they do is simply amazing,” Easton said. “We appreciate what these guys do each and every day.”
“Everybody in this room contributes to the overall purpose of keeping the enemy from having an impact on what we all have taken an oath to support and defend, and that’s the Constitution,” Clark said during the day’s commander’s call. “It’s not about a single person; it is about the ideas and ideals that make our country great.”
Both Clark and Easton encouraged the Airmen to understand how what they do every day impacts the overall Air Force mission and they coined Airmen throughout the tour and at the commander’s call to thank them for their hard work.
“It has been an honor to see the motivation and the leadership within this organization,” Easton said. “If I leave you with one thing, it’s to stay balanced, take care of your family, and you will have a successful career.”
Clark assumed command of the 3rd Air Force in October 2016, and the immersion tour provided a venue for him to see the 435 AGOW mission firsthand.
“Chief Easton and I have been wowed by the 435 AGOW mission today,” Clark said. “Thank you to you and your families for the sacrifices you make for this mission. It wouldn’t happen without your commitment, dedication and understanding of the greater purpose.”
The 435 AGOW consists of more than 1,500 personnel divided into four groups and 11 squadrons with 19 geographically separated units located across 14 sites.