|Jumper: You're Making a Difference |
Jumper: You're Making a Difference
By Staff Sgt. Stacee McCausland, 320th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs.
Eskan Village, Southwest Asia -- April 9, 2001 (ACCNS) -- Military members can sometimes lose track of why they joined the military and why their job is so important to the world.
Senior Airman Octavia Johnson serves breakfast to Gen. John Jumper (center), commander of Air Combat Command, and Lt. Gen. Chuck Wald, commander of 9th Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces, at the Mirage Dining Facility at Eskan Village, Southwest Asia. Jumper and Wald ate breakfast with 15 Eskan Village people, giving them the chance to raise their concerns with the generals.
Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stacee McCausland
Whether it's at a home station or a deployed location, they should remember they are making a difference daily in the lives of countless people.
"There are not many organizations in the world that can look in the mirror and say we're saving thousands of lives every day," said Gen. John Jumper, commander of Air Combat Command, during a commander's call here. " But we can, as part of a joint team and a coalition force. We're joining together to keep people alive. I think that's something that we can all be proud of."
Jumper held the commander's call to ensure all Eskan members knew their time and effort isn't forgotten by him or the people they serve.
"We are the greatest military in the world, no matter what uniform we wear, and we need to be proud of that," he said.
"We've got a great way of life here at Eskan," he added. "I see us working together with our coalition partner in ways that are better than we've ever done. I see great progress in getting the mission accomplished."
But accomplishing the mission can be hindered by the age of some of the Air Force's aircraft and equipment. One of the biggest challenges facing ACC and the Air Force is trying to modernize, Jumper said.
"The first phase of our transformation was our Expeditionary Air Force. We've gotten ourselves now organized so that we can deal with contingency operations that sort of dictate our daily lives these days, which is much different than the cold war.
"(Now) we're trying to get ourselves out of the situation where we're sending people off to war in 25-year-old pieces of machinery.… We don't send cars to the Indianapolis 500 that are 25 years old and expect them to win, and we shouldn't be sending our young people into combat with 25-year-old machines either.
"Our training is as good as it's ever been and today that makes the difference. Our technology might not be the best any more; but our training is, and continues to be, the best. And that's what we lean on," Jumper said.
"We need to continue to modernize, work on our quality-of-life issues and make sure that we let our people know how important they are and how appreciated they are at all levels. We've got a good mission and great people, and the nation's proud of us. I don't think we can ask for much more," he said.