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CMSAF Wright visits 442d Fighter Wing

CMSAF Wright visits 442d Fighter Wing

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright addresses 442d Fighter Wing personnel during an all call at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., October 6, 2019. Wright discussed how supervisors and commanders should approach physical training tests in the Air Force. He described the importance of PT tests in the Air Force, but also how supervisors and commanders can approach PT failures with a different perspective that helps make fitness a priority in their Airmen’s lives rather than induce anxiety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Chase)

CMSAF Wright visits 442d Fighter Wing

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright listens as Master Sgt. Chris Yates, a phase dock coordinator with the 442d Maintenance Squadron, asks a question during an all call at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., October 6, 2019. Airmen explored current topics in the Air Force from ways to alleviate burnout to new uniform standards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Chase)

CMSAF Wright visits 442d Fighter Wing

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright addresses 442d Fighter Wing personnel during an all call at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., October 6, 2019. Wright addressed a variety of topics including how to develop into a leader. He provided three key ingredients: be authentic, be a good listener and be a life-long learner. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Chase)

CMSAF Wright visits 442d Fighter Wing

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright addresses 442d Fighter Wing personnel during an all call at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., October 6, 2019. Wright emphasized organizational culture and how leaders should be empowered to take more responsibility for optimizing their workplace processes. He said Air Force senior leaders want wings to be bold and take risks to improve their organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Chase)

CMSAF Wright visits 442d Fighter Wing

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright meets with top performers of the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., October 6, 2019. During his visit, he held an all call to answer questions from Airmen and address a variety of issues in the Air Force ranging from suicide to uniforms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Chase)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo.-- Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright held an all call with members of the 442d Fighter Wing here Oct. 6.

More than 800 Airmen gathered to hear Wright speak on current hot topics in the Air Force and for the chance to ask some questions of their own.

Wright didn’t waste time getting to one of the most pressing issues that required all wings in the Air Force to take a Resiliency Tactical Pause, a day for wings to take time to focus on suicide prevention.

“Right now, what I’m thinking about and what keeps me up at night is suicide,” Wright said. “There’s a lot of people thinking about a lot of things in the Pentagon. I personally don’t think the answer lies in the Pentagon. If you ask me where you solve this problem, it’s you and I wake up every day and ask ourselves, ‘hey, what can I do better to solve this issue?’”

Multiple times Wright suggested the answer lies with each member in the Air Force. He implored each member to make a small change that could lead to a large impact.

“I think there’s a series of small things,” Wright said. “Sometimes you do need more manning, sometimes you need more resources. Sometimes you need access to more mental health professionals, chaplains and other helping agencies. Sometimes you just have to be better human beings. Sometimes we have to be great listeners, treat people with dignity, kindness and respect. Make people feel valued.”

Wright asked the audience to imagine Airman Johnson at an organization where leadership doesn’t know his name and where the rest of the team feels burdened when the Airman takes time off work to focus on a challenging time with his spouse.

Then he asked them to imagine that same Airman going through this hardship, except this time he is in an organization that embraces him with support.

“You wouldn’t believe how we rallied around and we took care of him,” Wright said, as if he were part of that imaginary organization. “I know it’s going to be tough. There’s only going to be 3 or 4 of us left to get work done around here, but it’s worth the sacrifice because we need to make sure Airman Johnson gets right.”

People use the excuse that they are busy, he said, “we have to learn to eliminate that excuse.” Over the years, he said he learned that you make time for what you believe is important.

He continued to discuss ways people can improve their workplace by eliminating non-essential tasks and optimizing their workplace with the tools and resources they are provided.

Wright also discussed how Air Force leaders plan to adjust physical training tests, establish bereavement leave, and improve supervisor-to-Airman feedback.

He ended his time with the Airmen by telling them to be bold and to look out for each other.

“I know it’s not easy,” he said. “But I’m encouraging each and every one of you to be bold and courageous leaders. I appreciate your sacrifice and what you do. I’ll keep hacking away at things that will allow you to become more efficient. You guys keep taking care of each other. Keep being good humans.”