SEAC Black tours MacDill AFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Foster
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing, Public Affairs

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Troy E. Black toured MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 12, 2023, to better understand the issues Airmen are facing, ensuring his ability to better advocate within his position.

The tour started with a visit to the installation's combatant commands, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, refamiliarizing SEAC Black with the strategic headquarters located within the base’s walls.

Following that, the team met with 6th Air Refueling Wing leadership to connect with the local operations and get a better understanding of the role it plays as the installation’s host wing.

Among the leaders was U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Raun Howell, 6th ARW command chief and the wing’s most senior enlisted advocate, and representatives from each of the wing’s five groups.

During the introductory briefing, Howell emphasized the wing’s importance in ensuring the nation’s success and expressed his support for Black’s initiatives, saying, “The day our adversaries decide to attack the United States, our allies or interests, the Department of Defense will be grateful that SEAC Black is our senior enlisted member and has prepared our enlisted corps to be a disciplined force with an operational, joint mindset.”

Following the briefing, the tour proceeded to the 6th ARW’s Chief Master Sgt. Aubert E. Dozier Airman Leadership School to hear firsthand how instructors are focusing on developing next generation leaders through professional military education. Here, MacDill’s newest first-line supervisors were given the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue with their most senior advocate.

“The SEAC’s visit to MacDill’s Airman Leadership School was monumental for the students, especially at this point in their career as they take on new leadership roles and responsibilities,” said Master Sgt. Brendan Young, ALS commandant. “His powerful message stressed the importance of being a team and not an individual, providing a joint perspective on how teamwork will be instrumental to winning future fights.”

The team then focused on the tactical roles Airmen play in supporting the 6th ARW’s mission, with visits to the 6th Medical Group, a tour onboard a KC-135 Stratotanker and a waterside security demonstration alongside 6th Security Forces Squadron marine patrolmen.

After experiencing a few of the wing’s key mission sets, Black gained a better understanding and appreciation for the work being completed by the junior service members at MacDill that contribute to the DoD’s success and left them with a thought:

“From my time in the DoD, two issues have persisted: the need for money and the need for people,” Black said. “Money isn’t something we always have control over, but we are able to decide how we treat others. My request is that we spend more time focusing on developing and mentoring our junior enlisted service members, creating an environment that makes them want to continue their service.”

The 6th ARW is committed to ensuring the success of all service members. Tours like this provide 6th ARW leadership the opportunity to showcase the hard work of all their Airmen, recognizing their achievement alongside their most senior enlisted advocate.