News: AFCENT command chief tours TCM
Story by Tech. Sgt. Rachel Martinez
TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- The command chief for U.S. Air Forces Central Command made her first official visit to Transit Center at Manas May 13 to 16, 2013.
Chief Master Sgt. Shelina Frey toured the Transit Center with the goal of meeting as many Airmen as possible and thanking them for their service, while also ensuring they are trained and equipped to meet the Combined Forces Air Component Commander's five priorities of decisive airpower, defending the region, defending the base, engaging and preparing for future operations.
"My theme as the AFCENT command chief, and as I go around the AOR, is to be able to answer the question for our airmen, 'Why are we here?'" Frey said. "To make sure that every airman - whether he's the cook in the dining facility, the personnelist, the maintainer, the operator, the PA, the JAG -understands why they are here. And it's to do those five priorities that Gen. [David] Goldfein set, to meet the four pillars that the wing commander here at the Transit Center has set.
"As I've gone around, everybody is meeting those priorities, everybody is meeting those pillars and they understand it," Frey added.
Throughout her multi-day visit, Frey received a first-hand look at the Transit Center's onward movement mission, meeting the U.S. service members who run the Joint Movement Control Center, customs, passenger terminal, transient lodging, Army just-in-time training and the Expeditionary Theater Distribution Center.
"As I walk around, we have airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines that are going downrange. We have soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are going home. That's exciting," said Frey. "The Transit Center is a hub. It's that critical stop to getting our folks to the fight. It's that critical step to getting our folks home to their family ... This place is a nucleus to what AFCENT is trying to do."
Frey's tour also included meeting the airmen working operations and maintenance to keep the Transit Center's air refueling and airlift missions moving.
"There is a sense of pride maintainers have to see an aircraft not only take off, but land," said Frey. "At the end of the day, that's what the Air Force is really about - air power. Getting those assets to the fight, taking care of business and then having them come back home so they can go back out another day. And we have those capabilities at the Transit Center."
Additionally, Frey had the opportunity to talk with various Airmen who are supporting the Transit Center's fourth and final mission pillar - theater security cooperation.
"I saw great relations and I heard our airmen excited about being able to go downtown and make a difference," said Frey. "I saw exactly what I expected to see - and that's our Air Force at work, our Air Force doing great humanitarian things for the local area, for the Kyrgyz people."
As she prepared to return to AFCENT headquarters in Southwest Asia, Frey reflected back on her visit to the Transit Center and the airmen she met.
"I'm excited about our airmen today. They joined during a time of war and they want to be here," she said. "They are excited about being here and they want to do the best that they can to defend our country, and represent America in a country that's not ours.
"Everybody is doing what they came here to do," she continued. "Everybody is excited about who they are, what they're about to do and what they've done. Keep doing what you are doing. I am so very proud of you."