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News | Feb. 18, 2016

CMSAF visits NORAD and USNORTHCOM, speaks with local Airmen

By By Air Force Master Sgt. Chuck Marsh NORAD and USNORTHCOM

The Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force visited Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, February 10-12, to meet with Airmen from nearby bases and tour North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody held two All Calls at Peterson to thank Airmen and noncommissioned officers from NORAD, USNORTHCOM, Peterson, Schriever AFB and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, and to answer their questions ranging from performance reports to retirement plans.

He said he was impressed at the questions posed to him at both enlisted calls, citing his overall impression of today’s enlisted corps.

“We have amazing men and women serving in our armed forces,” said Cody. “When I get to spend time with Airmen I see they’re dedicated, they’re proud, they’re motivated and they’re certainly very aware of what’s going on in the geopolitical environment, the instability that exists around the globe, and their role in ensuring our nation’s security.”

After speaking with the enlisted corps, he met with the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Fleet Master Chief Terrence Molidor, and toured the commands’ operations center.

“This was a great visit,” said Molidor, a 32-year Navy veteran and the command’s top enlisted member.  “I spoke to him as I do each service’s senior enlisted and said what we need from the Air Force is to continue sending us quality Airmen.  Also, as the senior enlisted for the command, if we have a service-related issue we can’t address with my senior enlisted advisors, he’s the one I go to in order to get the final word, so just getting another chance to meet with him was helpful.”

This isn’t the first time the Air Force’s top enlisted leader has been to the command.  He said he’s familiar with the unique mission sets of the command and the importance of defending the homeland.

“I certainly think 9-11 still weighs heavily on those who continue to serve,” said Cody.  “There’s no lack of appreciation and understanding what those events signaled to our nation and how we have evolved from that time.  I certainly believe our top leadership in Washington, D.C., clearly understands the importance of this command and what you do every day to secure our nation.”

He also gave thanks to the Canadian and interagency counterparts working shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. servicemembers, stopping to present recognition coins to four U.S. and one Canadian enlisted member for excellence.

“We can’t do it without the partnership,” Cody said.  “We all understand that.  We have common interests here to be as effective and as responsive as absolutely necessary – we need to be a team.”

Overall, Cody said today’s enlisted force is the best trained, most educated and most experienced fighting force the world has ever known. 

“They step up to the plate every single day to ensure the security of the nation and they will ensure the generations that follow in their footsteps are even better than them,” said Cody, concluding, “they’re just a dedicated great group of people and our nation should be extremely proud, and grateful they have the watch.”

It takes our entire joint team to be able to do that so we bring all our assets together our Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and our partners bring that all together.  Create this team that can amass all these resources when needed to direct the defense of our homeland and if necessary, move forward.

I think they are absolutely going to remain critical and likely as we continue to evolve as a force take on significantly different roles as they become more capable as we continue to develop the entire force, all branches, you’ll see us leverage that capability in different ways.

“Our Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines Coast Guardsmen and our partners that we’ve been developing forces with over time, they’re the best the world has ever known.  They truly are,” said the Air Force’s top enlisted member.  “The evolution of our enlisted force, certainly over the three decades that I’ve been in uniform, you truly can’t even make a comparison from what it was to what it is today when you think about roles and responsibilities.