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Wilson: Joint Base Langley-Eustis readiness key to lethality of force

Photo of Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson shaking hands with commander of Air Combat Command Gen. Mike Holmes' wife Sara during her visit to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

U.S. Air Force General Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, introduces his wife Sara to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, during Wilson's visit to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Aug. 3, 2017. Wilson met with ACC and JBLE senior leaders and spoke with Airmen on the unique capabilities JBLE has to offer to the Air Force’s mission. (U.S. Air Force phot/Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie)

Photo of Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson shaking hands with Col. Sean Tyler, 633rd Air Base Wing commander during her visit to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson shakes hands with Col. Sean Tyler, 633rd Air Base Wing commander, during her visit to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Aug. 3, 2017. Wilson discussed the future of the Air Force with Air Combat Command and JBLE senior leaders during her visit. (U.S. Air Force phot/Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie)

Photo of Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson meeting with 1st Fighter Wing pilots during her visit to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson meets with 1st Fighter Wing pilots during her visit to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Aug. 3, 2017. JBLE is home to the Air Force's largest operational F-22 unit, the 1st FW. Wilson spoke directly to pilots to get a better sense of why retention has become a major issue. (U.S. Air Force phot/Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie)

Photo of a F-22 Raptor taking off behind the plane carrying Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson during her visit to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor takes off behind the plane carrying Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, during her visit to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Aug. 3, 2017. During her trip, Wilson met with three groups of pilots to learn more about retention, one of the keys to readiness. (U.S. Air Force phot/Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va . --

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson visited Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Aug. 3, 2017, where she met with Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command and visited the 1st Fighter Wing and 480th Air Reconnaissance Wing.

"We must restore the readiness of the force," said Wilson. "The men and women at Langley Air Force Base are critical to maintaining and improving our lethality in the air."

During her trip, Wilson met with three groups of pilots to learn more about retention, one of the keys to readiness.

Wilson said readiness starts with Airmen.

"We need to be able to win any fight, any time," she said. "Readiness isn't about our ability to go to war, but how many Airmen will come home because we have prepared them to win."

Langley is home to the Air Force's largest operational F-22 unit, the 1st Fighter Wing. During her visit Wilson spoke directly to pilots to get a better sense of why retention has become a major issue.

"I want to know what we can do better to revitalize squadrons as the core fighting unit in our Air Force," she said.

In addition to the fighter community, Langley is also a leader in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance with the 480th and 363rd ISR Wings.