SecAF concludes first Indo-Pacific tour

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson sits with a group of local squadron commanders at the Pacific Air Forces headquarters at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during a question-and-answer discussion Feb. 2. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders

PACAF Public Affairs

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson completed her nine-day tour of the Indo-Pacific at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Feb. 2.

“The United States plays an important role in maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” Wilson said. “No nation is strong enough on its own. We have to do it with, and through our allies.”

The secretary visited Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan where she met with Airmen and families as well as key defense and military leadership to demonstrate the United States’ shared commitment to peace and security in the region and seek opportunities to enhance interoperability and capacity.

Wilson was stationed in Korea as a young Air Force officer, so while this was not her first time in the region, it served as her first official visit as Secretary of the Air Force, and a very important one.

“No place in the world is it more important than here, now, for our Airmen [and allies] to be ready,” she said during her stop at Osan Air Base. “The most important thing we’re focused on across the entire Air Force is readiness. Making sure we’re ready for any fight at any time.”

Wilson was joined by husband, Jay Hone, as well as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and his wife, Dawn, as well as Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy at various stops of the itinerary.

Wilson’s visit showcased many of her priorities for the future of the Air Force — readiness, modernization, innovation, leader development and deepening of partnerships. Key highlights of her visit included visiting with Airmen where she shared her expectations of the force.

“Whatever your job is make sure that you’re really good at everything that you do. That’s a real mission focus. The second is to be values driven. ‘Integrity First’, ‘Service Before Self’ and ‘Excellence In All We Do’, are things that we don’t just put on the wall in the Air Force. We live our values.”

Wilson said Airmen can expect when a budget is finalized to see an increase in manning, specifically at the squadron level, and a pay raise.

The Secretary concluded her trip at JBPHH, returning to Washington D.C. with notes from the field and due outs to Airmen throughout Pacific Air Forces.

“I have to take back (problems identified by Airmen) with me and my to-do list,” Wilson said. “That’s why I come out to see what Airmen do and how they’re getting after the job, so that I can be more effective at helping you do your job.”

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