- Written by Andrea Tullos
- Category: Guardmount/News
- Hits: 278
FROM THE SECURITY FORCES DIRECTORATE
Brig Gen Andrea D. Tullos
What an honor to be able to put the beret back on and serve our Air Force as the “Top Cop.” I’m humbled by the long line of berets before me and especially grateful to Brig Gen Al Jamerson, who served our Defenders exceptionally well during four turbulent years and whose positive impact will be felt well into our Air Force’s future. I’m committed to carrying on the proud tradition of representing our career field not only among our fellow Wingmen in the Air Force, but also as a joint partner with our sister Services, as well as a partner to our nation’s broader law enforcement community, who face challenges on a scale we have not seen or felt since the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s. But where there are challenges, there are opportunities, and I’m excited by what I learn every day from the proud professionals who wear the beret along with me, and I sleep very well at night knowing our Airmen are well led, well trained, and well equipped to
defend our nation and deliver our airpower anytime, anyplace.
I have been asked many times already to give some insight into what I intend to focus on, and while I will take time to get better immersed in our business before solidifying any plans. Know that your Air Staff will be focused on actions which directly enhance the effectiveness of our squadrons. Our squadrons are our Air Force’s essential fighting force, and while this does not diminish the role those of us play as staff officers, at the end of the day it is our squadrons who will fight and win our
wars. Every ounce of energy and every resource we expend at our various headquartered staffs should in some way translate into making our squadrons more effective.
Our recently published Security Forces Flight Plan gives us a well-designed framework to begin this daunting but necessary task. We will be reviewing how we deliberately develop our Defenders, from the time they complete technical training, until they are senior leaders in our enlisted, officer, and civilian billets. We will look at how our squadrons are organized, trained, and equipped to deliver the capabilities needed at their respective garrison bases. And we will look at how we posture our forces to deploy down range for contingency operations, both from the standpoint of how we build our unit type codes, how we continuously improve our regional training centers to best prepare our deployers, to how we prepare our leaders to successfully exercise command and control of integrated defense forces in a complex base security environment.
For our veterans and retirees who are curious to know how much has changed since your last tour of duty, I’m convinced the critical ingredients remain the same. We have different uniforms, more advanced technology, improved tactical vehicles, and quite a few more types of ID cards we need to check now. But quality leadership is what makes us or breaks us, and we have the most experienced, well qualified NCO corps we have ever had, and that is our backbone. We should never take that for granted, and we must fiercely protect the time they need to be intrusive leaders when it comes to the Airmen under their supervision. We must give them the tools and skills to properly train their Airmen, as well as the opportunities to grow themselves as leaders. And we must give them the quality down time they deserve to spend with family and friends and to pursue activities they enjoy to let them recharge their batteries and stay motivated. We need our junior officers to be able to lash up with that Master Sergeant and learn the ropes, make decisions, skin their knee a few times, and come back better for it. We need to be able to give our officers opportunities to take their expertise out into the big Air Force and be planners, advisors, instructors, and joint partners. And we need our Commanders to fully exercise their inherent authority to prioritize work, to foster a culture of “plan, train, rehearse, and execute” and to maintain good order and discipline as only Commanders can do by holding those accountable who fail to meet standards. While manpower and money will never be a cure for poor leadership, great leadership enables our Airmen to water our eyes with what they are capable of achieving, even under the most adverse conditions.
I hope I have the opportunity to have a conversation with you at this year’s AFSFA Annual Conference in Shreveport. It’s a great opportunity for all of us to honor the legacy of the Defenders who blazed a path for us, to share some fellowship and some stories from our past, and to inspire each other to decide what best to do for our Airmen tomorrow. Defensor Fortis!
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