Chief Master Sgt David Williamson, U.S. Air Forces in Europe command chief, recently traveled to installations in Italy and Turkey to gain first-hand knowledge of site operations and to highlight the command’s support of Airmen serving in geographically separated units.
At every stop, he underscored the commitment of Gen. Mark Welsh III, USAFE commander, to those serving in isolated locations across USAFE.
“I want to make sure you get the message loud and clear that we haven’t forgotten about you,” he said. “I speak for the boss (Welsh) when I say he is, without a doubt, your strongest advocate.”
The trip included stops at Ghedi Air Base and Camp Darby, Italy, as well as Izmir, Turkey. While the places and the faces changed at each location, Williamson’s core message remained the same throughout.
“You are what enables our ability to range the globe,” he said. “You are what enables global reach and global power in our United States Air Force.”
The impact of the visits was evident to the Airmen at every stop.
“It’s actually a pretty big deal to have the command chief visit Ghedi,” said Lt. Col. Brian Tolson, 704th Munitions Support Squadron commander.
“Sometimes we may feel like we’re forgotten about, but I’m hoping the takeaway is yes, as a GSU we’re a little off to the side, but yet we’re an important part of the mission and critical to the defense of the United States.”
Williamson’s visits also provided some Airmen with mentorship opportunities.
“It means a whole lot for me as a senior NCO to see the command chief here,” said Master Sgt. Rod East, 425th Air Base Squadron. “It’s important to get his perspective on the future of the Air Force, especially for the younger Airmen and NCOs stationed here as well as for myself. It’s really valuable to get his take on what our career paths could possibly look like in the near future.”
Before departing each location, Williamson pledged to continue his support for Airmen stationed at GSUs, promising that Airmen who may be out of sight will never be out of mind.