GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
The Honorable John W. Henderson, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy, visited Goodfellow to discuss base infrastructure and the future of intelligence and fire protection training here July 16, 2019.
The visit focused around ongoing construction projects which are improving the training environment and lethality of the warfighters trained at Goodfellow.
“Having functional, safe infrastructure is intrinsically linked to readiness and our ability to project combat power and our ability to provide safe and healthy communities for our Airmen and families,” said Henderson. “These things are foundational to our success and they are absolutely linked to the readiness of our Air Force to do our assigned mission now, and it will be the same way 10 years from now, and it will be the same way 25 years from now.”
The continued success of Goodfellow’s training mission does not rely solely on the base, but support from the community as well. Strong ties with the local area are instrumental to a successful training environment.
“This is an amazing community. They were doing partnership agreements before they were called partnership agreements,” said Henderson. “That shows a very long term, committed relationship between the base and the community, and that is of immense strategic value for the Air Force.”
One of the main issues touched on during the visit was housing for students, and permanent party and family members. With the high population of personnel who transition through the base, there is a strain on dormitory infrastructure and on/off-base housing alike.
“We take the health and safety of our Airmen and their families very seriously, whether it’s where they live or where they work, or whether the facilities are managed by the Air Force or one of our private sector partners,” said Henderson. “In areas where privatized housing is run well, it will continue to run well. In places where we need to improve it, we’re working with the project owners to make significant improvements quickly.”
Another initiative is to expand the rights for tenants, ensuring that every member has protected rights pertaining to their living situation. This bill guarantees the right to dispute resolution, the right to seek legal counsel, the right to a safe and healthy living environment as well as having maintenance performed by competent professionals.
The key takeaway from the visit was that infrastructure is key to training and projecting combat power in today’s Air Force. Senior Air Force leadership recognizes the value and impact of the mission performed here and are dedicated to improving the facilities and continuing the success of the 17th Training Wing.
“There’s a profound sense of gratitude and thanks for the leadership and for the mission that’s getting done here,” said Henderson.