DECEMBER 6, 2023 – Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass represents the highest enlisted level of leadership, and consequently, works a demanding schedule providing direction for the enlisted force and representing their interests. One of the many ways Bass fulfills this duty to Airmen is by traveling across the globe visiting Air Force installations, delivering guidance and sparking dialogue in the enlisted force.
Bass visited the world’s premier fighter wing at Luke Air Force Base, Dec. 1. The 56th Fighter Wing is dedicated to training the world’s greatest fighter pilots and combat ready Airmen.
Bass and her support team, Team 19, began the workday with her customary morning workout at 5:00 a.m.
After PT, Bass had breakfast at the Hensmann Dining Facility, where she spoke with Luke AFB Airmen about multiple subjects including China as the United States’ biggest pacing challenge.
“Our most sophisticated and pacing challenge is China,” Bass said. “We need to make sure our Air Force is equipped with the right talent certainly today, but also 5 and 10 years down the line.
During the tour, Bass toured premier fighter squadrons and base facilities including the 56th Communications Squadron, 308th Fighter Squadron and the Luke AFB Chapel Team.
At the 308th FS, Bass engaged with international partners, discussing collaboration improvements for allied nations at Luke AFB and participating in a group photo.
Throughout the day, Bass met with noncommissioned officers, base leadership and international partners, while also recognizing multiple Airmen around the 56th FW for their outstanding accomplishments.
Under a sunny Arizona sky, Bass visited the 308th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, where she was briefed on bundled maintenance and the theory of constraints.
After hosting a discussion with the 308th AMU Airmen, Bass and her team met the Luke AFB Chapel Team. The chapel hosted 126 resiliency events in 2022 for Airmen, and briefed Bass and her team how it was made possible through community partnerships.
Bass continued engaging with the enlisted force by holding a lunch with NCOs from Luke AFB. During this meal, the group discussed innovation, readiness and change.
“We have to be willing to accelerate and innovate moving forward,” Bass said. “Change can be tough, but losing is unacceptable.”
After lunch, Bass arrived at Explosive Ordnance Disposal Pro Range for a demonstration of EOD and Android Team Awareness Kit capabilities.
Finally, Bass held an all-call, where instead of talking to Airmen, Bass preferred to talk with Airmen, creating an open dialogue where Airmen could not only gain insight from the CMSAF, but also so the interests and concerns of the enlisted force could be heard and addressed.
The discussion occurred beneath a towering American flag backdrop in Hanger 999 touching on a range of topics, including mental health, education benefits and leadership qualities.
“What advice do you have for growing female leaders in the Air Force?” asked Airman 1st Class Kennetta Acquaah, 56th Comptroller Squadron budget technician.
In response to the question asked by Acquaah, Bass said that her advice for future leaders in the Air Force was the same for both men and women.
“If you want to be a successful leader in the Air Force,” Bass said, “do your job and do it well.”
Never missing an opportunity to engage with Airmen, Bass concluded the all-call with a photo-op with any and every Airman that wanted a photo with the voice of the Air Force’s enlisted corps.
While many headed home for the conclusion of their duty day, it continued for the CMSAF. Bass went on to visit the Fighter Country Foundation building to attend a dinner with her fellow Chiefs on base, before finally retiring for the day well after dark.
The following morning, Bass and Team 19 would rise at the crack of dawn to fly back to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. In addition to base visits, Bass serves as the personal adviser to the chief of staff and the secretary of the Air Force, attends ceremonial events and advocates for Airmen in policy discussions.
Whether it is traveling across the globe or working at her home base, the chief master sergeant of the Air Force leads by example. Bass serves her Air Force with a resilient passion for improving the lives of Airmen and a diligence for innovation, working before the sun comes up and after it comes down.
By Airman 1st Class Katelynn Jackson
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs