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12th AF leaders visit Ellsworth

Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force commander, speaks with Airmen from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. April 5, 2013. Lt. Gen. Rand discussed a wide range of topics during his commander's call including the importance of standards, heritage and the wingman concept. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nathan Gallahan/Released)

Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force commander, speaks with Airmen from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. April 5, 2013. Lt. Gen. Rand discussed a wide range of topics during his commander's call including the importance of standards, heritage and the wingman concept. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nathan Gallahan/Released)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, received a warm reception when he arrived at Ellsworth to meet with Airmen and officiate the 28th Bomb Wing change of command, April 4 to 5.

Before the ceremony, Rand had the opportunity to tour several base facilities, including the new 28th Security Forces Squadron shoot house - designed to give Defenders the chance to test their skills in simulated real-world scenarios.

Prior to the change of command ceremony, Rand hosted an all call for the base where he encouraged Ellsworth Airmen to uphold Air Force standards and fight to protect their wingmen and families.

This is a bittersweet day," Rand said. "The bitter part is saying goodbye to the former commander, but the good part is being here with the great Airmen assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing."

Rand commended the Airmen for all of their hard work before introducing Chief Master Sgt. Calvin Williams, 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH) command chief.

"We have some tough days ahead of our Air Force," Williams said. "What we need, as always, is fundamental leadership at all levels - from airmen basic to four-star generals."
Williams next asked all Ellsworth personnel to remember what truly matters.

"Take care of our mission, our families and our people," Williams said.

Rand then outlined his priorities - the mission, airmen and their families - specifically emphasizing a focus on those priorities coupled with constant vigilance to stay true to Air Force core values.. He went on to highlight the importance of the role that every Airman has in preventing sexual assault and creating a culture of respect across the Air Force.

"The concept of being a wingman should apply to all of us - what we do on and off duty," Rand said.

Rand also stressed the importance of maintaining standards of fitness and conduct. He said respecting fellow Airmen and adhering to common courtesies blaze the path to creating a healthier force, directing everyone - whether senior NCO, officer or airman - to do their part to make a positive impact on someone else.

Rand, a 34-year veteran, added there are many things he has seen and Airmen he has met in his career - all of which have left a profound impression on him that the Air Force mission is a personal one.

"I want to thank you for your service and all you do for my family, our great Air Force and our great country," Rand said. "It's an honor to serve with you."

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