JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., commander of Air Force Materiel Command, told an audience at an All Call Sept 5 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland that the missions the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center conducts are critical to ensuring national defense.
It was the general’s first visit to the San Antonio-based AFMC units in his charge since taking command in May.
His initial message was one of thanks.
“Let me start with the most important thing I’m going to say today: Thank you. You don’t hear that enough,” he said. “You perform a critical role in the wartime mission every day and in garrison. Thank you for what you do, thank you for your service, dedication and your commitment.”
The global AFIMSC mission is vast in support of 77 installations across the force, and the general received a first-person view of the diversity of those operations in San Antonio.
At Lackland, he visited the training and dorm complex construction projects the Air Force Civil Engineer Center is managing to modernize and better enable Airman basic training programs.
He took to the range at Medina Annex to shoot the newest weapons in the Air Force arsenal, courtesy of the Air Force Security Forces Center that fields those capabilities on behalf of the force. While at the range, he also received briefings and demonstrations about the military working dog program, unmanned aerial vehicle operations, base defense and security forces protective equipment that AFSFC also manages across the force.
At Randolph, Bunch received a first-hand look at how the Air Force Services Center is delivering healthier meal options to fuel the force with the food transformation initiative. He received a briefing from food service professionals there and enjoyed lunch with members of the team.
He also spent time at AFIMSC headquarters, where he learned about the myriad programs the center executes across the installation and mission support community, and he enjoyed a mentoring lunch with members of the headquarters and primary subordinate units.
At the All Call, Bunch said he’s committed to learning more about how AFIMSC supports the Air Force.
“I want to know what you’re doing, and I want to be your champion,” he said.
In terms of the broader missions of AFMC, the general emphasized the importance of everything the command does to enable Air Force lethality.
“Air Force Materiel Command is the most important MAJCOM in the United States Air Force,” he said. “If we’re going to achieve the national defense strategy and if we’re going to be able to drive to the Air Force We Need, we’re the most important.”
He highlighted these command operations:
• Lean science and technology programs
• Acquisition advantages for those capabilities
• Sustainment of the aircraft fleet
• Readiness of the nuclear mission
• Fielding the future needs of the warfighter – tested and proven
AFIMSC in conjunction with the five other centers under AFMC – Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Sustainment Center, and Air Force Test Center – executes the AFMC mission to conduct research, development, test and evaluation, acquisition management, logistics support and agile combat support to keep Air Force weapons systems and Airmen ready for war.
Bunch said AFIMSC’s mission makes sure the power projection platforms – Air Force installations – “are ready and able to go.”
“We, within this MAJCOM, do our wartime mission each and every day,” he said. “What you’re doing to support the bases is readiness; it’s keeping Airmen and their families safe and secure. All of that is what we do. And you’re critical to our success.”
AFIMSC Commander Maj. Gen. Tom Wilcox passed along thanks of his own following the AFMC commander’s visit.
“Team – wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped prep, participate in, or clean up for General Bunch’s and Chief Cadell’s first visit to AFIMSC,” he said. “The Chief and I put him on a plane around lunch (on Friday) and he passed on that it was a great visit – he learned a lot, saw a lot of positive energy, and met all the great Americans we have working to make sure we stay the best Air Force in the world every day.”