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AFSPC chief makes first visit to Vandenberg

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Command Chief Master Sgt. Richard Small, the command chief of Air Force Space Command, answers the questions of Airmen stationed at Vandenberg during a enlisted call on March 19. This is Chief Small's first visit to a base since being appointed as Chief of AFSPC. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Thomas)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Command Chief Master Sgt. Richard Small, the command chief of Air Force Space Command, answers the questions of Airmen stationed at Vandenberg during a enlisted call on March 19. This is Chief Small's first visit to a base since being appointed as Chief of AFSPC. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christian Thomas)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Enlisted Airmen crowded the base theater to hear the command chief of Air Force Space Command as he addressed Airmen at an enlisted call here Thursday.

Chief Master Sgt. Richard Small, who arrived in AFSPC after being the command chief of the 9th Air Force, came to Vandenberg on his first official visit to the base to meet the Airmen, NCOs and senior NCOs responsible for operating and maintaining the West Coast's only space launch facility.

"There are a lot of dedicated Airmen at Vandenberg," Chief Small said. "Their everyday work is helping to ensure that the United States remains dominant in space, and for that we, as a nation, are indebted to them."

The chief included a wide range of topics at his enlisted call covering in-lieu-of deployments, expectations of Airmen in the command and his first impressions of the base. The chief got an up-close look at some of the driving forces behind Vandenberg. The chief also talked about the installation's unique mission and its importance to the Global War on Terror.

"During my visit I have heard the term 'space-enabled warfighter,' and I like that," Chief Small said. "The term encompasses what Airmen here are doing."

The chief stressed the importance of leadership protecting its assets. Any organization the size of the Air Force will have a finite supply of resources, whether it is money or people, he said. It is important for people at all levels to practice being good stewards of the resources we are given.

"I expect our Airmen to give a hundred percent every day, not only in your job but, (to) better yourself as a leader and a follower," the chief said. "It is important for our Airmen to be able to support the command above them as well as lead the Airmen below them."

Chief Small not only updated Vandenberg Airmen on issues important to the command and enlisted leadership, but encouraged them to hit the history books.

"I think it is important for every Airman to continue his or her education, especially in history" he said. "I would encourage any Airman to pick up a biography about those military members who have served before them. The insight they gain will help them in life and maybe on the battlefield."

Chief Small toured the base's facilities, dined with some of Vandenberg's most outstanding Airmen and NCOs, and broadened their experience by providing insights developed and honed in his more-than 24 years of service.

"Chief Small was very insightful," said Airman Kenneth Francisco, a 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator. "As an Airman it is always beneficial to learn from someone who has been so successful in their career."