Global Strike commander addresses Air Force’s newest airmen

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U.S. Air Force Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, and Chief Master Sergeant Charles R. Hoffman, Air Force Global Strike Command command chief, render a salute during a basic military training graduation Nov. 15, 2019, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. (Photo by Johnny Saldivar)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, served as the reviewing official for the latest Air Force Basic Military Training graduation parade, and as a guest speaker alongside Chief Master Sgt. Charles Hoffman, AFGSC command chief, Nov 15.

“To see these trainers, this team and this system come together…to produce the most amazing American Airmen, is something to behold,” Ray said.

Every enlisted Airman begins their Air Force career at Basic Military Training. JBSA-Lackland is often referred to as the “gateway to the Air Force,” graduating about 39,000 Airmen annually.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, and Chief Master Sergeant Charles R. Hoffman, AFGSC command chief, pose for a group photo with members from the 37th Training Wing during a basic military training graduation Nov. 15, 2019, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. (Photo by Johnny Saldivar)

Ray’s visit with trainees began with the Air Force’s BMT coin and retreat ceremony Nov. 14. Following the event, Ray visited 37th Training Wing squadrons and training facilities where he observed the effectiveness of the training and equipment provided to today’s warfighters. His visit culminated the following day, providing the review for the Airmen’s final parade as trainees.

“I’ve been at this business for quite a while, over 34 years of commissioned service,” Ray said. “For us to preserve the American way of life, there is always going to be things for us to overcome. So I believe that there is always going to be a need for Airmen.”

Ray called on the Air Force’s newest Airmen to innovate and be bold to address the challenges posed by the threat of competing global powers, following almost 20 years of the counterterrorism fight.

“We have to continue to innovate…and be [ready] on the day that our nation needs us most,” Ray said to the Airmen.