CMSAF, SAF/MR and Diamond 1 visit Keesler

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Trenten Walters
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

On December 19, Keesler welcomed a familiar face, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass, who explored the base to gain a firsthand perspective on how the 81st Training Wing is executing its mission.

Chief Bass represents the highest enlisted level of leadership, as her position includes offering guidance to the enlisted force and advocating for their interests as necessary, both to the American public and across all government levels.

Accompanying her was the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Honorable Alex Wagner, and Chief Master Sgt. John Alsvig, Air Force first sergeant special duty manager, also known as Diamond 1.

The tour kicked off with Chief Bass, Honorable Wagner and Alsvig having a sit-down breakfast with Airmen across the wing. Hitting on the 81st TRW’s priority of empowered Airmen, the breakfast provided opportunity for Airmen of all ranks to have open discussion on topics such as the benefits of transitioning from bullet format to narratives for evaluations, capitalizing on military benefits, managing a work life balance and staying motivated.

“Never forget where you came from, why you do what you do and never quit learning,” said Bass.

After breakfast, they witnessed how the 81st TRW is focusing on training through going on tour of the 333rd Training Squadron’s schoolhouse, where officers and enlisted service members go for cyberspace initial and advanced skills training. They surveyed the Cyber Escape Room, designed to challenge students’ skill sets from ​​decoding cyphers and packet tracing to programming and networking. Additionally, the tour highlighted the 334th Training Squadron’s Air Traffic Control study room that gives students greater access to radar and tower static tables and Max Sim ATC simulators which has proven to reduce the elimination rate of the course by 4 percent. Providing study rooms give students more opportunities to absorb and retain information outside of classroom hours, further enhancing dorms as a weapon system.

Following a peak into the 81st Training Group, Bass hosted an all call for approximately 400 Airman across Keesler, providing them insight and discussion of our evolving force and answering questions with the support of Wagner and Alsvig.

Bass’s time at Keesler wrapped up with a final formation of all five training squadrons, where she motivated Airmen and Guardians in training and conducted an ‘End of Watch’ retiring of the aiguillette ceremony for two Military Training Leaders.

The tour to Keesler marks the last time Bass will visit the installation as the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. Immediately before her CMSAF assignment, Bass was stationed at Keesler as the Second Air Force Command Chief making the base an unofficial homecoming tour.