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NEWS | June 6, 2012

18th AF commander visits JB Charleston

By Airman 1st Class Tom Brading Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Lt. Gen. Mark Ramsay, 18th Air Force commander, visited Joint Base Charleston, S.C., June 3 and 4 to get a firsthand look at the daily operations of the 437th Airlift Wing and its mission partners, as well as to speak to wing Airmen during an 'All Call'.

During the All Call, which took place in the base theater, Ramsay discussed topics such as force shaping, budget cuts, education, the responsible use of social media and ongoing operations in Southwest Asia. He also reminded Airmen of their importance to the success of the Air Force mission and thanked them for what they bring to the fight.

"Thank you," said Ramsay. "Your jobs are not easy. However, you make them look that way. Joint Base Charleston has remarkable facilities and truly astounding Airmen that expertly carry out the mission and have innovation, enthusiasm and dedication while doing it."

Ramsay said the motivation of young Airmen, like the ones he met at JB Charleston, inspires him in the difficult task of leading the Air Force's largest Numbered Air Force.

One of the main issues on the minds of Airmen at the All Call was how Ramsay saw the future of the Air Force in light of current uncertainties. The general noted that by restructuring the force along the lines outlined in the new Defense Strategic Guidance, the overall capabilities of the Air Force would remain mission ready even with less capacity. He also encouraged Airmen to take advantage of the resources currently available to enhance their value to the Air Force.

"Throughout Air Force history, we've experienced multiple changes in strategy or resources," said Ramsay. "I encourage all Airmen take advantage of all the educational opportunities we currently offer, deepen yourselves mentally by reading more often and give everything you can to your job performance within the Air Force."

Another topic addressed by Ramsay was the power of social networking and the need for Airmen to use it responsibly.

"I think all Airmen are amazing at what they do and I encourage them to share their Air Force story," said Ramsay. "However, think before posting an internet blog. Once you hit send, it's out there, for anyone to read, forever.Airmen need to understand that the rules and common sense that guide us in public events carries over into social networking, and we all need to understand what is right and wrong ."

As 18th Air Force commander, Ramsay is in charge of a worldwide operational mission, with responsibility of more than 39,000 active-duty Airmen and civilians. In addition, he oversees the operations of approximately 1,300 airlift and air-refueling aircraft. But even with the scope of that responsibility, he was quick to express his admiration for the men and women of Team Charleston.

"I am very impressed with the superb women and men who make the extraordinary look easy," said Ramsay. "Everyone works together to accomplish the mission that is Team Charleston."