AFSOC Command Chief meets with Airmen

  • Published
  • By By Capt. Jessica Tait, 353rd Special Operations Group Public Affairs
  • 353rd Special Operations Group

Air Force Special Operations Command Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Smith met with the enlisted members of the 353rd Special Operations Group during an all-call June 19 at Kadena Air Base, Japan.

“I wanted them to realize what an impact they have on this theater,” said Smith. “When we talk about all the great things the 353rd SOG does, it’s the enlisted force that carries and drives so much of that. I wanted to say thank you to these Airmen, these wingmen of mine and their families.”

Traveling to the Pacific, Smith accompanied Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, who presided over the 353rd SOG change of command ceremony.

Smith took the opportunity to address Airmen on changes to developmental special duties, enlisted performance evaluations, enlisted professional military education and the blended retirement system.

“The Air Force has changed considerably in four key areas,” said Smith. “I wanted our Airmen to understand those changes in order to reduce some of the anxieties associated.”

Smith described the significance of these changes, provided resources and emphasized the choices Airmen need to make.

“I love how Chief Smith is instantly able to put the crowd at ease so we can absorb what he has to say,” said U.S. Air Force. Master Sgt. Earl Mellick, 353rd SOG first sergeant. “I enjoyed his emphasis on getting back to basics and what we as enlisted can better understand in order to have discussion points within the work center.”

Airmen were invited to ask questions at the conclusion of the all-call.

“Getting that perspective from a person with actual answers was refreshing for a change,” said U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Charles French, 353rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron personal recovery electronic warfare craftsman. “Using the information he provided, we now know what we can do better at our level to help facilitate change at his level.”

The AFSOC command chief praised the enlisted members who enable SOF operations across the entire Pacific.

“I’ve learned that when we talk about ingenuity, innovation and doing more with less, the Air Commandos of the Pacific are finding unbelievable ways to enable joint and multinational integration with our international partner,” said Smith. “They figure out how to do it every day and they do it better than anybody on our planet. I’m just proud to be part of their team.”