Dr. Boozman's Check-up

This past weekend, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright came to Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith. This was the first time a Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force had visited the home of the 188th Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard.

I was pleased to be on hand for this significant occasion and help underscore just how important the 188th is to the region and our national security. This is not the first time high-profile leaders in our Armed Forces have made their way to Fort Smith. In fact, two former Secretaries of the Air Force, the director of the Air National Guard and the former Chief of Staff of the Air Force have visited in recent years. But, in light of the mission change the 188th Wing underwent in 2014, it’s critical that we continue to showcase how it is providing essential capabilities through its unmanned aircraft operations.

This visit by Chief Master Sgt. Wright was another opportunity to demonstrate and reinforce how the work being done at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, while different from the traditional flying mission of years past, is integral to the Air Force’s ability to defend our nation and interests.

It was an honor to spend the day with Chief Master Sgt. Wright and the men and women of the 188th Wing. He pledged to take what he learned about the airmen and their mission back to the Pentagon. He also discussed the future of the enlisted force and suicide prevention efforts, which was encouraging to me given the work I’ve been doing to address the suicide crisis among members of the military and our veterans.

While in Arkansas, Chief Wright first visited airmen at Little Rock Air Force Base to meet active duty, Guard and Reserve airmen. His visit was a part of his commitment to visit airmen at every Air Force installation while he is serving as Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.

Below are some photos from the visit. Thank you again to Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright for spending time with our airmen at Ebbing Air National Guard Base.