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CENTCOM command chief: Knowledge, actions have far reach

by Master Sgt. Cheryl L. Toner
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Photo by Staff Sgt. J.J. Rodriguez

Airman 1st Class Joshua Mills (right) explains the capabilities of an explosive ordnance disposal robot to Chief Master Sgt. Curtis Brownhill, the command chief for U.S. Central Command. The chief is touring bases in the CENTCOM area of responsibility. Airman Mills is assigned to the 380th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron at a forward-deployed location.

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- The command chief for U.S. Central Command wants everyone who has deployed to go back to their bases and share their experiences.

Chief Master Sgt. Curtis Brownhill also wants people to remember that their individual actions have a far-reaching effect.

During his visit to the CENTOM area of responsibility, Chief Brownhill said he wants every Airman, Marine, Sailor and Soldier to see how "their contribution here is much larger" than their individual specialties. He said it is easy to draw a direct line from the individual providing a support function to the servicemember on the ground in a combat zone.

"I'm proud of the men and women of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, and I want to thank them for serving their nation during these challenging times," Chief Brownhill said.

"There is a lot of incredible work that goes on here, and we need to make sure our war experience translates into transformation," the chief said. A huge element of that education process begins as people return to their bases, he said.

"People need to get (their experiences) on the table and incorporate it into their training and focus," Chief Brownhill said. "This is a new breed of warrior," he said of the up-and-coming servicemembers in today's military. Gone are the days of "just do it because I told you so."

Chief Brownhill said younger troops grew up in the information age and are being supervised by more engaged leaders.

"(Younger troops) understand the end state, and when they ask questions we deserve to give them an answer," he said.

And for those supervisors who are expected to provide those answers, the chief said he anticipates professional military education containing more information and discussion about working in joint environments.

"Our operational environment has changed and we've spent a lot of time with officer training (in joint operations), but not a lot of time with enlisted members," he said. "I foresee that occurring at appropriate levels of (professional military education)."

While classroom training may be on the distant horizon for some people, everyone deployed now is getting the opportunity to learn the best way possible -- by experience.

According to the chief, one of the things the U.S. is accomplishing here is "building confidence and capacity." That lesson, he said, extends to people in this region.

"These are engagements that build partnerships for the future," he said of his visit earlier this year to Kazakhstan's ministry of defense. "You can't look at Afghanistan without looking at countries that influence it. There are long-term effects and we are looking to the other countries to set conditions for stability."

While the countries in this region are looking at each other, the chief said they are also looking at what the U.S. is doing and how its servicemembers act.

"Everyone here should know that their tactical actions have strategic effects," he said. "We're ambassadors and professionals, and our actions have a far-reaching effect." (Air Force Print News)

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