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COMACC visits 386th AEW, praises Airmen’s contributions to fight

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Andrew Park
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, his wife, Mrs. Gillian Carlisle, and Chief Master Sgt. Steve K. McDonald, command chief master sergeant of ACC, visited Airmen deployed with the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Nov. 23.

The purpose of their visit was to gain an appreciation of the 386th AEW's operations throughout the U.S. Central Command region and to thank Airmen personally for their service during the holiday season.

The general stressed to Airmen the importance the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant represents for the country’s national security.

“[The Islamic State] is evil,” Carlisle said. “They want to change your way of life, they want to attack us; they want to attack our freedoms; and they want to change the world. We have got to win this war.”

Despite the challenges faced in the region, Carlisle was confident the air power would prove to be the key to winning the war against ISIL.

“Every adversary, every bad guy out there, every potential adversary knows what happens when the United States owns the airspace -- we kick their butts,” he explained. “When we own airspace and cyberspace, when we can do global precision attack, global mobility, air superiority, global integrated [Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance], command and control, nobody has a chance.”

Carlisle then praised the Airmen of the 386th, noting the wing’s various missions had been absolutely vital to Air Force operations in the region for years.

“On a monthly basis, you move about 8,000 tons of cargo,” he noted. “You move about 8,000 passengers, plus or minus a few thousand -- plus mostly, recently. 

“You provide global integrated ISR at a level that is incredible, to include strikes on a normal basis where you come back with your airplanes cleaned off,” he continued. “You look at the electronic warfare and electronic capabilities that our EC-130s are doing -- it's unbelievable."

The general was quick to note the wing’s operations were only successful due to the Airmen who came to work every day to take the fight to the enemy. He thanked the Airmen of the 386th for volunteering to serve their nation and deploy over the holidays, and he pledged to work on their behalf addressing quality of life issues.

Gillian Carlisle, too, praised the Airmen around the wing, thanking them for their service. While visiting various morale facilities on base, she emphasized the importance of providing for their needs while in an expeditionary environment.

“These deployed Airmen work hard,” she said. “We need to continue to increase our support, since they do their mission away from home and family.”

Carlisle has prioritized visits to deployed Airmen since he took command of ACC in order to learn firsthand the challenges they face in executing their missions.