WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. — Chief Master Sgt. Brian Hornback, Air Force Global Strike's command chief visited Team Whiteman Feb. 8-9, bringing with him a vision for the future of Airmen stationed not only at Whiteman, but across the Air Force.
Hornback is no stranger to the base, having been previously stationed here twice.
"Visiting Whiteman Air Force Base is like coming home, and it feels like the 509th Bomb Wing has wrapped itself back around my shoulders," he said.
Hornback toured the base, spending time with individuals across the installation and addressing the evolution of the Air Force.
He said he believes today's Airmen are more digitally linked and globally aware than former generations. In his view, what is important now is bridging the gap between senior leadership and junior Airmen.
This will not be accomplished by "fixing" the way junior enlisted think, but understanding and offering guidance instead, he said.
Hornback also stressed the importance of spending more time discussing the problems of the present and tackling issues in the future, while spending less time in front of computers or at a desk.
"There are some basic foundations to help lay," Hornback said. "I can't tell you that you use my path because that only worked for me 28 years ago. That path is completely different now; it's a different Air Force.
"NCOs, Staff Sgt. through Chief Master Sgt., need to spend more time with their Airmen to coach, lead and mentor them and actually maybe teach leadership traits that will help them through their Air Force Career and then maybe get out of their way. They're the future of the Air Force."
He also discussed how to break through the barriers regarding forums and how to start open discussions in order to build stronger bonds in the workplace.
"We say we want an open forum, but do we really want an open forum? Or do we want open dialogue when a forum is open? I'm not going to laugh at your questions. They may be silly but I'm not going to laugh at them. If you want to talk we'll talk," he said.
Finally, Hornback articulated his goals for the Airmen of Global Strike, highlighting the importance of both military and off-duty education.
He said he wishes to develop the Airmen throughout the command by emphasizing the superior education and training of AFGSC personnel, and the resources and equipment that make the mission work. He wants Airmen to be excited about their jobs, but also to understand the importance of their roles and responsibilities in the nuclear enterprise.
Finally, Hornback stressed the necessity of remaining positive when stationed at a Global Strike base.
"There are worse places to be," he said, "but every place you go, there you are. So what are you going to do to make it better? You control your motivation, your morale, your discipline and yourself."