18th Air Force emphasizes readiness, squadron vitality at MacDill

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brad Tipton
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing

MacDill Air Force Base is a key location for the Department of Defense to project forces anytime and anywhere it chooses. The strategic location in Tampa, Fla., and 24 KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft play a vital role in national defense, but its success is powered by the Airmen within.


During a base visit spanning May 7-10, 18th Air Force commander, Maj. Gen. Sam Barrett, applauded the 6th Air Mobility Wing, the installation’s host wing, on its commitment to Air Mobility Command’s mission as well as its commitment to its Airmen.


“What I see here at this base is that you’re getting after what you can control today to make the life of a civilian or an Airman to your left or right better,” said Barrett, during a speech to Airmen at the base theater, May 10.


18th Air Force command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Chris Simpson emphasized that the key to operational success is to include the whole team.

“In the end our goal as a team is to have every single member understand that they belong to this team and have a purpose,” said Simpson regarding his perspective as the senior enlisted member of the numbered Air Force. “When we have belonging and purpose for every one of our members, we can achieve any goal or task that the nation puts in front of us and solve the problems we have.”


Barrett focused on the importance of readiness and squadron vitality throughout his visit. He explained the way forward in the evolving battlefield is to embrace the priorities set forth by the Chief of Staff and Air Mobility Command.


“Full spectrum readiness is the challenge, innovation is the way we get there, and squadron vitality is the secret to our long term success,” Barrett said. “That’s where our culture lives…That’s how we employ combat power.”