TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. David L. Goldfein, visited the 552nd Air Control Wing on June 8 to gain a better understanding of financial and mission impacts due to COVID-19.
Goldfein received several broad mission briefs of Tinker Air Force Base including the Air Force Sustainment Center, the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, the new KC-46 campus and the 552nd ACW.
During the 552nd ACW portion of the visit, Goldfein traveled to building 230 for an inside-look at operational changes and challenges presented by COVID-19. Adaptations included new flying schedules, rotation of flying crews, and new training techniques.
“The continued work of the fliers and maintainers during this unprecedented time should not go unnoticed,” Goldfein said. “These Airmen are working all hours of the day despite the coronavirus outbreak to ensure the aircraft flies correctly and works flawlessly in times of emergency in order to meet the requirements of the mission.”
During the visit, Goldfein also met with maintenance, aircrew flight equipment and other support Airmen, to have an open discussion on racial inequality.
“It is going to be uncomfortable, but the time is now,” Goldfein said. “We need to take ownership of what has happened in the past, ask Airmen how they have been treated, how they have felt and listen to their response – these conversations then need to be put into action.”
After the discussion on racial inequality and current tensions, Goldfein recognized several individuals for their contributions to the 552nd ACW.
- Capt. Brian Duque, 552nd ACW Inspections and Readiness, was recognized for revitalizing the wing readiness exercise program and instructing more than 10 Air Battle Managers and Mission System Operators.
- Master Sgt. Douglas Boyer, 552nd Maintenance Operations Flight, was recognized for serving as the acting first sergeant and ensuring maintenance readiness during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Master Sgt. Robert Buckner, 552nd Operations Support Squadron, was recognized for assembling and leading the initial cadre for the Generation 3 E-3G Mission Crew Concept transition.
- Tech. Sgt. Anthony Palmison, 552nd Training Squadron, was recognized for adapting online streaming software for distance learning Instructor Qualification Training academics with zero lost training days during COVID-19.
- Senior Airman Ervin Mooney, 752nd OSS, was recognized for achieving Senior Airman below-the-zone and training 15 individuals on a new equipment module.
Goldfein concluded his time with the 552nd ACW by visiting the 966th Airborne Air Control Squadron to talk with Airmen from the Training and Operations Groups, and revisited the topic of racial inequality and ownership of the problem.
“In the long run, we do not want to say it is quiet; we want to say we are still working on improving racial prejudice, systemic discrimination, and unconscious bias as well as continuously striving for a more inclusive Air Force."