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4th AF leadership visits Tanker Town

  • Published
  • By Maj. Denise Hauser and Staff Sgt. Tara Abrahams
  • 940 Air Refueling Wing

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, California -- Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Pennington, 4th Air Force commander at March Air Reserve Base, California and Chief Master Sgt.Cynthia Villa, 4th AF command chief, visited the 940th Air Refueling Wing Oct. 1 to 4 at Beale Air Force Base, California.

“’Visiting the units is one of the most important and the best parts of the job,” said Pennington. “We get time with Airmen at different phases of their careers.” 

Tanker Town delivered a packed schedule for the leadership team, and they ran with it at full speed.

To kick off their visit, the general flew on a KC-135 Stratotanker mission with the 314th Air Refueling Squadron, while the command chief visited servicemembers on the ground. They filled the rest of their time meeting with Reserve Citizen Airmen. The leaders hosted breakfast and lunch with diverse groups of Airmen.

“We get to hear the ground truth of what is and is not working, and what is on their minds,” said Pennington.

Villa had a lot of advice and mentorship for the Airmen.

“Be a good team mate; be a good Airman. That’s what it’s all about,” she said.

The command chief showed how she cares for the Airmen and motivated them with her words throughout the visit.

“Sometimes we don’t see the qualities in ourselves that our leaders do,” said Villa

She was passionate about encouraging Airmen to step out of their comfort zones.

“Get outside of yourself and run after every opportunity available to you,” she said. “Your career is what you choose to make of it.”

Villa said that even as a Numbered Air Force command chief, she will never stop growing.

“I bleed as much blue today as the day I enlisted back in 1993.”

As the trip came to a close, Villa said there is no better feeling than connecting with the Airmen and thanking them for what they do, and taking the opportunity to remind them to thank their families as well. 

“We can’t answer our nations call without the support the family members give us,” she said. “We also motivate and remind Airmen the impact they have on the mission every single day no matter what capacity they serve in. They bring it strong and their contributions are meaningful.”

The general added, “When we get to walk around and put our eyes on target, it anchors in what the Airmen are telling us. It is an absolute vital part of my responsibility as the commander.”

As the team bid farewell, they left the 940 ARW with one final message: “Answer the nations call and take care of business, but most important, take care of each other.”