AETC Command Chief visits Fightin’ 49ers

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Antonio Salfran
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Chad Bickley, Command Chief of, Air Education and Training Command, was welcomed by the Fightin’ 49ers during an immersion visit at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, Nov. 8, 2023.

Bickley, who took his position as the top enlisted Airman in AETC in June, spent his visit speaking with and learning about the Airmen who support and execute the 49th Wing mission.

“The Fightin 49ers do an outstanding job of building combat-ready aircrew to support the Air Force at large,” said Bickley. “The crews Holloman produces will play a vital role in any future conflict. Our nation doesn’t seek conflict, but we must be ready at a moment’s notice to take the fight to the enemy, anytime, anywhere. That training starts in AETC…and we have to get it right. It is very evident Holloman understands what is at stake, and they are crushing it each and everyday.”

Bickley’s intent to understand any challenges faced by the Fightin’ 49ers enabled him to also learn about all of the innovative approaches to problem solving that lead to consistent success across the wing.

“We have challenges in our Air Force that directly impact Holloman, and we’re not getting more money or people. As leaders, how do we play the hand we’re dealt without doing it on the backs of our Airmen and families…that’s the waters we navigate each and every day.” said Bickley. “My position gives me the opportunity to share those challenges at the highest level of our Air Force. We owe our best efforts to our Airmen and their families, and we’ll never stop advocating for them.

During an all-call, Bickley gave a presentation labeled Change of Mindset. The briefing focused on warfighting, and the combat mindset needed to tackle the challenges our Air Force would face in a near peer fight and the leadership skills needed to win.”

“Our Airmen work tirelessly, every day, and it’s always an honor when we get the chance to showcase that hard work to senior leadership,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Martin, 49th Wing command chief. “It’s an honor to highlight our team and show Chief Bickley what we’re all about in the 49th Wing.”