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NEWS | Jan. 12, 2015

18th AF commander visits 437th AW at JB Charleston

By Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Air Force Lt. Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, 18th Air Force commander, his wife Michele and Chief Master Sgt. Robert Rodewald, 18th AF command chief, visited Airmen, families and civilians from the 437th Airlift Wing Jan. 8-9, 2014, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

To get a first-hand view of JB Charleston's unique mission, Everhart was given a mission overview from the 437th Airlift Wing, the 315th Airlift Wing and the 628th Air Base Wing leadership.  However, the key reason for his visit was to interact with the Airmen of the 437th AW who work to provide precise, reliable airlift worldwide every day.

"This is my opportunity to personally see and hear from the Airmen," Everhart said. "I also get to recognize the accomplishments of some incredible Airmen and civilians."

At one point during his visit, Everhart's sat down for breakfast with a group of Airmen to hear about what was on their minds, and in return, gave them words of advice, wisdom and encouragement.

"The best part of any visit is when I get to talk face-to-face with Airmen," Everhart said. "We are a collaborative team. They're out there accomplishing a difficult mission, and I want to know what I can do to help. I need to understand what is on their minds so I may advocate for them.
Everhart cited the partnership between the three wings at JB Charleston, as the foundation of accomplishing the mission in an outstanding manner.

"Charleston has a fantastic relationship between the 437th AW, the 628th ABW, the 315th AW, the Naval component and the Army component, and seeing how the base runs the mobility requirement is outstanding," Everhart said.

The general invited Airmen and civilians from the 437th AW to an all-call during which he thanked them for their commitment to serving their country, talked about the future of the 18th Air Force and discussed his command priorities.

"The mission of the 18th Air Force is not going to change," Everhart said. "We will always be prepared to the utmost of our ability to answer our nation's call; no matter where it is globally."

He also discussed some of the issues the Air Force is facing today.

"Certainly, one of the biggest challenges the Air Force faces today is how we, as a service, continue to provide combat-ready Airmen and platforms to face an uncertain, rapidly-changing environment," Everhart said. "Our Airmen can't be afraid to think outside the box, and they must be bold enough to take the steps necessary to make change.  Most importantly, make every dollar count.  Let's ensure that every dollar we spend is a dollar of added value to the taxpayers."

At the end of his stay, Everhart reflected on his impressions of the Airmen who call Joint Base Charleston home.

"I'd like to say thank you to our Total Force mobility Airmen and families for their dedication to delivering our country's rapid global mobility, day in and day out," Everhart said. "I talked to many Airmen during this trip and I've tried to emphasize to them the Air Force cannot do its job without them."