PACAF's new command chief visits Kadena

PACAF's new command chief visits Kadena

by Airman 1st Class Zackary A. Henry, 18th Wing Public Affairs
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- It's not every day the leader of more than 45,000 total force enlisted Airmen travels to Kadena for a visit. So, when Chief Master Sgt. Harold "Buddy" Hutchison, Pacific Air Forces command chief, arrived Oct. 28, it was a great opportunity for Kadena's Airmen.

One of Hutchison's leadership tenets is to be more than just "a picture on the wall," and he's proving that with this tour across PACAF.

"I want to get out there, and I want to talk to Airmen face-to-face," Hutchison said.  "It's important to me, because I want to understand their challenges, their successes and their frustrations, so I can better explain that to the general and the staff so they have opportunities to help."

Hutchison explained that in today's fiscally constrained environment, it's difficult to balance the wants and needs of the Airmen, but he and Gen. Lori J. Robinson, Pacific Air Forces commander, are doing all they can to get Airmen what they need to accomplish their tasks.

The chief also understands that with the many changes, including force management and a new enlisted performance report system, there comes some fear and uncertainty. He offered solid advice for those wondering what to expect in the future.

"First and foremost, Airmen have to have trust and faith in their Air Force leadership," he said. "They must trust leadership is going to make sure their best interests are at heart while implementing all of these changes."

Hutchison knows that Kadena's crucially important mission and role as keystone of the Pacific, brings with it some long hours and stressful situations. He said one of the most important things he's learned in his 28 years in the Air Force is that it's vitally important to balance family and work.

Airmen need to make the time to take care of themselves by exercising, eating right and doing what they love to recharge their mental batteries, so they can focus on the job when it is time to do so, Hutchison said.

He said he believes Airmen should focus their efforts on being the best at what they do every day, because they have been successful and will continue to be successful in the future.

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