Chief Master Sgt. of Air Force visits NORAD, USNORTHCOM

By Petty Officer 1st Class Joaquin Juatai | NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | June 08, 2007

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney McKinley visited the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command headquarters June 6, before conducting an enlisted call at the Peterson Air Force Base auditorium. 

McKinley emphasized two points: the importance of winning the Global War on Terror and how vital it is to ensure that Airmen are prepared to fight in that war.

“Anybody in here come in after 9-11?” McKinley asked his audience.  “Raise your hands.  God bless you because you (joined the Air Force) knowing that we’re at war, knowing that there should be some sacrifices, and here you are, doing a fantastic job, and our country owes you a lot.

“Without a doubt, the number one priority in the world and within our Air Force is winning the war on terrorism.”

McKinley emphasized the importance of ensuring that Airmen not only have the proper training and equipment, but also the proper mental, physical and spiritual conditioning, before deploying to a war zone.

“When we do deploy, we need to make sure that when our Airmen come back from deployments, that we take care of them,” he said.  “We also need to make sure that while they are deployed, that we take care of the family.”

The United States does not want to fight the War on Terror in the streets of America, McKinley said.

“We want this to be an away game,” he said.  “That’s why we all need to make sure that we’re properly trained, organized and equipped to fight the War on Terror.”

After his address, McKinley conducted a question-and-answer session, addressing Airmen’s specific concerns including careers, advancements and new uniforms.

NORAD is a bi-national Canadian and American command that is responsible for the air defense of North America and maritime detection and tracking.  USNORTHCOM is responsible for defending the homeland and Defense Support of Civil Authorities.