CMSAF Bass focuses on future Air Force during Team Tinker visit

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  • By Destiny Washington and Clayton Cummins

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass visited Tinker Air Force Base, Oct. 11-13, for the first time, taking the opportunity to learn more about the mission and Airmen on base.

Bass is the highest enlisted Airman in the U.S. Air Force and is the 19th chief master sergeant appointed to the position. Bass represents the highest enlisted level of leadership, and as such, provides direction for the enlisted force and represents their interests, as appropriate, to the American public and to those in all levels of government.

Air Force First Sergeant Special Duty Manager Chief Master Sgt. John Alsvig also traveled to Tinker alongside Bass. Alsvig’s responsibilities include setting overall policy and guidance for the management of the first sergeant special duty. In addition, he advises the CMSAF on all matters relating to the health, morale, welfare and discipline of the force.

During their visit, Bass and Alsvig met with key leaders from Tinker and the community to address challenges Airmen and their families face. Bass was quick to point out the level of diversity among employees.

“What you all do here at Team Tinker really underpins the warfighter concept,” said Bass. “Our warfighters, regardless of service, cannot do what they do without the work done by every single servicemember here at Tinker, especially the 90 percent of civilians who are making it happen every day.”

In addition to visiting the 72nd Air Base Wing, the 552nd Air Control Wing, the Air Logistics Complex, the 507th Air Refueling Wing and the 137th Special operations Wing, and holding an all call with enlisted members of the base, Bass visited the students at Edmond North High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Bass held a Q&A session for students to ask a wide variety of questions about the Air Force and her position specifically.

Edmond North High School Senior David Boley was among the first students to ask a question, asking how it’s possible to maintain time management with a busy lifestyle.

“You have to sleep well, you have to eat well,” said Bass. “I try my best to wake up in the morning and go do my physical training early in the morning so that I can feel physically ready. I prep myself before I go into work mentally by listening to podcasts.”

“It was really cool that she came out here and that I got a chance to not only talk to her but actually shake her hand,” said Boley. “She’s a great example for what I am trying to become because I want to become a good leader; I want to be a PJ [Air Force Pararescueman]. The example she sets of living a highly disciplined life is something that I am striving for too.”

During the Total Force all-call, Bass heard from Airmen, highlighted the top priorities of senior leaders in the Air Force, as well as what Airmen can expect in the coming years.

“Our headspace is, ‘Where does our Air Force need to be and how can we optimize for great power competition?’” said Bass. “Now we have these other war fighting domains that we have to focus on called space, cyber and information.”

Bass is proud of the Air Force heritage, history and everyone that got the Air Force to this point but is excited for what’s to come.

“I don’t think what we do fundamentally is broken but I don’t think it’s optimal for the force that we’re going to need for the future,” said Bass. “I think you’ll see more change in the next four to six years than I’ve seen in my entire career and it’s about time.”

From her visit she was able to see that Team Tinker touches everything in the Air Force.

“As we continue to build the Air Force our nation needs, it’s going to be Airmen like those at Team Tinker who will continue to accelerate change into the future,” said Bass.

Before departing Tinker, Bass and Alsvig, sat down with Tinker Public Affairs to record an edition of the ‘Tinker Talks’ podcast.