The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Top AF NCO addresses key Cannon issues during visit


USAF photo: Senior Airman Erik Cardenas Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Roy speaks during an Airmen's Call on Jan 20. “We are a nation at war. With a response time like no one else, that is why you get called.” Roy said.

The Air Force’s top enlisted airman visited Cannon Jan. 20, and addressed issues that ranged from housing and deployments to how Air Commandos fit into the bigger Air Force picture.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy told airmen gathered in Hangar 208 that top Air Force leadership was very aware of Cannon’s housing issues and is working to address the shortages.

“Air Staff, along with wing leadership, is working to fix the problem,” Roy said during the Airmen’s Call. “We are looking toward privatized housing, and working with surrounding communities to make sure we have adequate housing for airmen.”

First-term airmen normally live in the dormitories until they are promoted to senior airman, but the influx of personnel here has made it necessary to look at alternative measures. Dormitory shortages were addressed in August when the occupancy rate hit 89 percent. They are now at capacity and airmen are being authorized basic allowance for housing.

“There are two dormitories planned for (fiscal years) 2011 and 2012,” said Roy. “These should help, to some degree.”

Airmen here, he said, have every element of support from the Air Force and 27th Special Operations Wing leadership to local community leaders who are all working together to resolve the housing challenges new arrivals to Cannon face.

When asked about what it takes airmen to succeed, he said, “Be the best technician you can be, regardless of your career field. “

Airmen must have focus on their careers, said Roy, and get the proper mix of training, education and experience to excel.

The Air Commandos here fit into the Air Force in many different ways, he continued.

“We have airmen assigned here who are in Haiti, of course, as well other geographic commands,” he said. “We are getting the equipment to Afghanistan as quickly as we can. It’s a big role and we’ve stepped up to the plate. “

The chief added that the number of airmen in Afghanistan will continue to increase, not only for the operators, but for those who work in combat support roles.

Additionally, The Air Force will continue to remain in Iraq as it moves out equipment.

“We still have an air adviser role in Iraq,” he said.

There are about 200,000 airmen currently supporting combatant or geographic commands.

“We are a nation at war,” he said. “With a response time like no one else, that is why you get called.”

“The men and women of Cannon Air Force Base, thank you for which you provide to our nation,” concluded Roy. “We want to thank the military and family members the many sacrifices they endure.”


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