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SECAF, CSAF begin AOR tour at Al Udeid

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Darrell Dean

For the first time in her new position, Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett joined Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein as they began a visit of U.S. Air Forces Central Command’s area of responsibility at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Nov. 17-18.

During a town hall style all call, the top two Air Force leaders gave their vision for the Air Force’s future and answered questions from the audience. Barrett used her first overseas town hall experience to introduce herself and explain her leadership philosophy.

“Whether it’s diplomacy or government, you only have one chance to get things right,” noted Barrett. “If you make a mistake on integrity, it’s over. You have to be forthright, you have to be filled with integrity at all times.”

Questions from the audience covered a variety of topics from resiliency to the future of command and control. When asked about what lies ahead for the Air Force, Goldfein said a multi-domain approach is what will give the U.S. a tactical advantage.

“If we connect all our platforms, systems and weapons with a common data architecture, then we can begin to bring multiple dilemmas to an adversary in ways that will hopefully deter them,” said Goldfein. “(The adversary) can’t put a block of wood over themselves. The best they’ve got is a block of Swiss cheese. It’s our job to know where the holes are and to get in, do our business and hold targets at risk.”

Barrett and Goldfein received briefings to familiarize themselves with AUAB’s role in the USAFCENT mission. Barrett also participated in a walking tour of the base, where she visited dormitories and saw multiple new construction projects to improve quality of life at AUAB. The tour concluded at the Blatchford-Preston Complex dining facility, where Barrett took the opportunity to have dinner with Airmen who were deployed for their first time.

In some of her final words before wrapping up her visit, Barrett emphasized the strategic importance of AUAB.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to say how very important this base is to what we are doing nationally and globally,” stated Barrett. “This is really the tip of the spear for the entire region.”

For Goldfein, he passed along a message for all AUAB airmen to remember their ultimate purpose for being here.

“Someone has to stand between the sheep and the wolves, and that’s us,” noted Goldfein. “America sleeps well at night because we don’t.”