Air Force Space Command’s senior enlisted leader visited with Malmstrom’s Airmen Nov. 20 to 23
Chief Master Sergeant Ron Kriete, Air Force Space Command's command chief master sergeant, is briefed on the operation of Malmstrom Air Force Base's newly remodeled 911 center by Tech. Sgt. Justin Mendygral during a visit to the base Nov. 21. (Photo by Roger M. Dey)
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MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont.—Air Force Space Command’s senior enlisted leader visited with Malmstrom’s Airmen Nov. 20 to 23.
Chief Master Sgt. Ron Kriete, AFSPC’s command chief master sergeant, is the “eyes and ears” of the command’s enlisted force.
“We’re doing great things in AFSPC,” Chief Kriete said. “Our (operations tempo) is the highest it’s ever been, yet our Airmen continue to do great work.”
Chief Kriete provides trusted guidance and counsel to command leadership at a strategic, or “big picture,” level.
“I’m our Airmen’s voice,” Chief Kriete said. “If Airmen have a concern that can’t be handled at the wing level, then that’s where my job begins. However, many of the issues that arise are able to be handled at the wing level.”
During his visit to Malmstrom, the chief visited with Airman Leadership School students, toured the A-01 Missile Alert Facility, conducted an NCO call and helped Team Malmstrom bid farewell to the 341st Space Wing’s former command chief master sergeant, Chief Master Sgt. Harvey Hampton.
“From what I can see, the morale is high and wing leadership is doing a terrific job,” Chief Kriete said. “It’s great to come out and see and hear what Malmstrom’s Airmen are doing first-hand.”
Among the numerous issues Chief Kriete addressed during his visit were enlisted manning, budget concerns, AEF commitments and personal accountability.
“Leadership at every level understands the importance of our enlisted force,” Chief Kriete said.
The Air Force’s enlisted corps is critical to the Air Force mission since enlisted Airmen comprise 80 percent of the force. “We have very capable Airmen who we rely on every day to get the mission done.
“One thing our Airmen have in common is their resilience,” Chief said. “Every day I watch them come to work to solve problems and do it better than the last time. Overall, our Airmen are talented, intelligent and technically savvy. I have to believe our Airmen have great values and are here for the right reasons.”
Resources are crucial to the command’s Airmen being able to continually accomplish the mission, so during these times of budget constraints, funding is a concern for some.
“Everyone in the Air Force is feeling the budget crunch,” Chief Kriete said. “We’re paying for a war. As a result, we need to continually look at the way we train, organize and equip. Every day we’re thinking of ways we can streamline processes and procedures. We need to be creative, but not at the expense of cutting corners.”
In addition to AFSPC working harder and smarter to help curb costs for the Air Force, the command is doing it while actively supporting contingency operations around the globe.
“Our mission doesn’t stop,” Chief Kriete said in reference to AEF commitments the command’s Airmen support. “Because of this, we have to prioritize. We need to ask ourselves what the mission of the day is and subsequently rank tasks in their order of precedence. Additionally, our supervisors need to recognize where needs are. Malmstrom’s leadership is doing this particularly well.”
“It takes all of us to fight the Global War on Terror,” Chief Kriete said.