GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Maj. Gen. Timothy Leahy, 2nd Air Force commander, visited Goodfellow, while on tour of Air Education and Training Command bases, his three day tour provided getting a taste of its history, heritage and day-to-day operations.
His tour featured a fleeting glance at nearly every operational function of the base, from firefighting, to the intelligence school houses, the medical group, and the mission support group. The tour didn’t just stay on base. Off base, he met San Angelo’s city leaders, who went out of their way to greet him, joining him for dinner at a local restaurant.
But between visits, Leahy had a sit-down with military training leaders to talk about his experiences, what he expects from them and, generally, the direction he wants to take 2AF.
He started the talk on mentoring, and how his first mentors were the noncommissioned officers he interacted with.
"I was fortunate, as a young Lieutenant, to have worked alongside great NCOs who taught me practical examples of leadership, lesson number one: take care of your NCOs, and they'll take care of you," said Leahy. "Lesson number two: Take care of your people and they will take care of the mission, I have never forgotten these lessons."
Leahy also brought up how our forces are undermanned, that we don’t have enough Airmen, resulting in less supervision, which makes an environment for ‘bad apples’ to crop up and flourish without anyone to stop or correct them.
"Manpower is the most critical asset we have," said Leahy. "If you don't train these young Airmen, and grow them effectively to become your replacements, you're hurting yourself and the Air Force."
"We should give guidance and let some people innovate inside that left and right limit. We need people to be NCOs, to be commanders, as opposed to the idea that no one has the ability to innovate and exercise their common sense and good judgment. You need you to get out from behind your desk and execute some eyeball to eyeball leadership."