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12th Air Force command chief visits Creech

CREECH AFB, Nev. -- Chief Master Sergeant H. Layton Clark, 12th Air Force command chief, receives a tour of the MQ-1B Predator simulators here Dec. 30. The chief recently visited Creech to get a first-hand look at 432d Wing operations and meet with Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Lindy Lamielle)

CREECH AFB, Nev. -- Chief Master Sergeant H. Layton Clark, 12th Air Force command chief, receives a tour of the MQ-1B Predator simulators here Dec. 30. The chief recently visited Creech to get a first-hand look at 432d Wing operations and meet with Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Lindy Lamielle)

CREECH AFB, Nev. -- The 12th Air Force command chief, Chief Master Sergeant H. Layton Clark, visited Creech AFB recently to meet with Airmen and to get a first-hand look at 432d Wing operations.

This was Chief Clark's second visit to Creech since becoming the 12th AF command chief in 2009. The chief visited various squadrons and had lunch with Hunter Airmen and said he was definitely impressed by the Airmen he met.

"The Airmen here obviously enjoy what they do and they're focused on the mission," Chief Clark said. "My impression of them is that they are proud, positive and professional warriors."

After serving three tours in Iraq, the chief said he's very familiar with the remotely piloted aircraft mission and what it brings to the fight. During his most recent deployment, the chief served as the 332d Air Expeditionary Wing command chief at Balad Air Base, Iraq where he gained first-hand experience on how important RPAs are in protecting Balad Air Base from attacks by insurgents.

"Remotely piloted aircraft in both persistent ISR (intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance), and armed over watch are absolutely vital to our service's identity," Chief Clark said.

Along with meeting Airmen in direct support of combat operations, Chief Clark also visited training operations conducted here. He met Airmen who directly support the MQ-1B Predator Formal Training Unit and spent time in the RPA simulators.

"The training conducted here is excellent," Chief Clark said. "There are many folks who are extremely dedicated to what they do and we are producing some very good crews."

While at Creech the chief also took the time to address future training concerns based on the insatiable demand for the RPA mission.

"As far as what's on the horizon, the results speak for themselves. I believe you will see this program grow and we're going to have to increase our capabilities. There are definitely concerns of how we grow and train RPA aircrew. Senior leadership to include wing leadership are dedicated to ensure these issues are addressed properly."

In addition to viewing operations at Creech, the chief also was able to tour various quality of life facilities on base. The chief said that in his opinion, based on the level of growth of the RPA program, Airmen should continue to expect the upgrade of facilities and services as well as senior leadership continuing to advocate for robust support of the people accomplishing the RPA mission.

"If we are going to continue to grow here in this mission set, then we have to be able to sustain it, and our people have to be able to value it," Chief Clark said. "I encourage all Airmen to think outside the box. If something isn't right or just doesn't look right then raise your hand and get it to your leadership. "

The chief also encouraged Creech Airmen to take full advantage of quality of life facilities.
"I encourage all Airmen here to run that gas pump dry," Chief Clark said. "Use those facilities to the utmost of your ability."

Before departing the base, Chief Clark wished all Creech Airmen a Happy New Year on behalf of 12th AF. The chief also wanted to encourage Airmen to remain focused on the mission.

"Lieutenant General Spears and I are extremely proud of each and every one of you," he said. "Keep up the great work. You are all great Americans."

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