OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --
U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, the commander of Air Combat Command, along with his wife, Sara, visited Offutt AFB Oct. 30-31, 2018.
Holmes, the leader of the primary provider of air combat forces to America's warfighting commanders, met with Airmen, senior leaders, civic leaders and Offutt partner units to learn more about Offutt’s missions and hear what is on the minds of the members of Team Offutt.
“I’m here to talk about what you want to talk about and want perspective on,” Holmes told a gathering of squadron commanders and chief master sergeants. “Tell me what you want to know, and let’s talk.”
What followed was a candid, professional discussion on matters and issues important to today’s Airmen: readiness and retention, civilian hiring practices, officer and enlisted performance reporting, and empowerment.
“Autonomy is important to me because that’s how you keep me in the Air Force,” Holmes said. “A book I read recently, ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,’ posits that what drives people in creative career fields like we’re in, is autonomy, mastery and purpose. It’s to have some task which is not easy and you have to work hard at; to be given autonomy by the people you work for to pursue desired results in your own way; and to have a strong sense of purpose as you carry out your work.
“If we want to keep talented people in our Air Force, we need to offer meaning and purpose,” Holmes said. “Our young Airmen, both enlisted and commissioned, have to be able to look within their squadron and be able to say, ‘Look at my chief; look at my squadron superintendent and commander. Those are really good jobs; they’re good at it and they seem to be having a pretty good time doing them. I want the opportunity to do that someday.’”
During general’s two-day stop, he covered nearly the entirety of mission-sets executed at or from Offutt during briefings, tours, working lunches and orientations. He inspected the runway, toured the installation deployment readiness center and visited the 557th Weather Wing and Heartland of America Band.
At each stop, Holmes thanked Airmen, both active-duty and civilian, for their dedication and work serving our nation. On more than one occasion, he took the opportunity to publically recognize an individual’s contribution to the team, presenting his commander’s coin to them as a small token of his appreciation.
During the visit, Sara met with Offutt-based spouses to discuss the key-spouse program and efforts to improve Airman and family resiliency for all of Team Offutt.
The 55th Wing, the host-unit for the base, provides dominant intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance; electronic attack; command and control; and precision awareness to national leadership and warfighters across the spectrum of conflict any time, any place. It is also home to U.S. Strategic Command, which deters strategic attack and employs forces, as directed, to guarantee the security of the nation and allies, as well as the 557th Weather Wing, which maximizing America's power through the exploitation of timely, accurate and relevant weather information; anytime, everywhere.