Maj. Gen. Feest, 19th Air Force commander, visited Altus AFB July 7-8. He has been selected for reassignment "...there is a lot going on here and a lot more to come!" "I just want to thank everybody here at Altus for what they do..."
ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Maj. Gen. Gregory Feest, 19th Air Force commander, flies in a C-17 simulator on Altus AFB July 8. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher Arnold)
ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.-- From left to right - Chief Master Sgt. Bernise Belcer, 19th Air Force command chief, Maj. Gen. Gregory A. Feest, 19th Air Force commander, Col. Ty Thomas, 97th Air Mobility Wing commander and Chief Master Sgt. Robert Austin, 97th AMW command chief, answer questions during an Airmen’s luncheon July 8. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Cherice Bryant)
ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – From left to right, Leah Thomas, Bridget Feest and Chief Master Sgt. Bernise Belcer listen to Earl Johnson, Balfour Beatty Community Manager, at the Altus Balfour Beatty community garden, July 8. The garden was established April 23 for base residents. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher Arnold)
by Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Seidl
97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
7/22/2010 - ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla -- Maj. Gen. Gregory Feest, 19th Air Force commander, visited Altus AFB July 7-8.
General Feest has commanded the 19th since July 2008. He has been selected for reassignment as Air Force Chief of Safety, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C., and Commander, Air Force Safety Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
During his visit Wednesday, General Feest visited the training facilities, flew a C-17 simulator and flew a mission in the C-17.
"Obviously, the mission here is very important to the United States Air Force and to our coalition partners because all C-17 and KC-135 training is done here for the pilots and aircrews. Without tankers and airlift we're not going to go anywhere or do anything. And it's not only our service, it's all the services. So the mission here is one of the most important we have in 19th Air Force." said General Feest.
Later in the day, he met with 97th Air Mobility Wing leadership and local Altus community leaders.
"It amazed me the first time I went to an AETC Symposium--the Altus Military Affairs Committee were the first to have a booth. Now others have followed in their footsteps. They really take care of the Airmen and their families." said General Feest, citing an example of the relationship and culture of innovation flourishing between the city of Altus and Altus AFB.
Thursday, he met with wing leadership and then had lunch at the Solar Inn with selected Airmen. During lunch, he spoke with Airmen and answered questions on topics such as physical fitness testing, and the increasing automation of functions that were previously staffed, such as finance and personnel jobs. The general, and others in leadership, offered their thoughts on the changes going on in the Air Force.
"I was here right after the ice storm, and I noticed how the base has totally resurrected itself and it looks great. All the pavement, taxiways and everything that is being done to make the ramp space bigger and to make it easier to taxi these heavy aircraft are going to be great too; there is a lot going on here and a lot more to come!" said General Feest, speaking about the changes he's seen at Altus AFB during his tenure.
Asked about what other changes might be on approach at Altus AFB, he said "I think that this base is big enough that other missions could come in here. I think it would be a great location for the KC-X (but again I'm not one of those decision makers). The Canadians have been coming in here with their CF-18s, I hear the Navy wants to bring in a mission here, and the MC-12W is an option. I think those are all possibilities here and that Altus AFB would do a great job supporting those missions as well."
"I just want to thank everybody here at Altus for what they do training our aircrews on the C-17s and KC-135s. Again, that's a very important mission and I appreciate what they do every day. You went through a very, very difficult winter with the Haiti Operation and the ice storm yet the Program Flight Training that's accomplished here is ahead of track." said General Feest.