Donley Stresses Core Values Remain Intact During
The US Air Force core values of "integrity first, service before
self and excellence in all we do" will remain in place, Acting Air
Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said during a visit to Peterson
Air Force Base in Colorado this week.
In his first visit to an Air Force base since being named to the
position, Donley held a candid town-hall style meeting Tuesday with
members of Air Force Space Command.
"We are working through the issues confronting the Air Force,"
he said, referring to the nuclear enterprise issues and others that
caused his predecessor to resign. "We need to build back inner
confidence in our Air Force, and we need to rebuild our
Donley outlined three perspectives he brings to the
"The first thing you will get from me is 'jointness,'" he said.
"The Air Force is one part of a big team." He outlined some of the
ways the Air Force contributes to the ongoing joint fight in Iraq,
Afghanistan and the war on terrorism, both in the United States and
around the world.
"I know the Air Force is
contributing lots of mission sets and capabilities, and it is an
impressive array, I can tell you," the acting secretary said.
A related theme is support to the war on terrorism.
"This is a priority for this Air Force," he said. "We have more
than 30,000 airmen deployed around the world, engaged in the war on
terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan."
One of Donley's first acts upon appointment was to visit Walter
Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC, and speak with wounded
airmen. From this visit, he said, he gained an appreciation of
their sacrifices and inspiration from them as well, noting that
they all expressed their desire to heal quickly and get back into
the fight. Donley also recognized those who stand behind and
support the people on the front lines.
His third theme, the acting secretary said, is the welfare of
airmen. He said that although the Air Force is a technology-driven
service, its most important asset is the knowledge, experience and
commitment of the people who make it all work to support the
"The welfare of our airmen is very important to me," he said,
"and I will try to strike the best balance in the Air Force budget
between equipment needs and our people."
After addressing his overall concerns, he spoke to the issue
closest to Air Force Space Command members right now.
"The Air Force's credibility has been tarnished, and we need to
rebuild it," he said. "The Air Force leadership needs to develop a
roadmap for the nuclear enterprise to put us on the right track for
stewardship of the nuclear mission that the defense establishment
and the American people expect from us.
"There is no quicker route to recovery," he continued, "than the
power of tens of thousands of airmen and civilians rededicating
themselves to the high standards of excellence that have always
been the hallmark of the world's best Air Force."
(Aero-News thanks Ed White, with Air Force Space Command