By Airman 1st Class Adrian Salazar, 49th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 13, 2020
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein; Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Temple, 49th Wing command chief; and Col. Ryan Keeney, 49th Wing commander, pose for a photo in front of the “Holloman Rock” at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., July 9, 2020. Approximately every two weeks the rock is painted to highlight fun events, holidays and general base awareness activities, promoting community and cohesion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Adrian Salazar)
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein speaks to Maj. Donald Bolda, 49th Component Maintenance Squadron commander, during his tour at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., July 9, 2020. During his visit, he participated in an F-16 Fighting Falcon weapons load. (U.S. Air Force photo Airman 1st Class Adrian Salazar)
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein returned to Holloman Air Force Base for a visit, July 9.
Goldfein is no stranger to Holloman AFB, but this visit was special in that it marked his last trip as the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff.
“This is like coming home, right to the friendliest place on earth and it's actually funny that this is my last stop as the chief of staff of the Air Force,” Goldfein said.
A key stop on his visit was the 6th Attack Squadron, where Goldfein was able to hear about some of the challenges the instructor pilots face at the building and speak with MQ-9 Reaper sensor operator students.
“When it comes to global operations you guys are the Ph.D.s that understand it more than anybody,” Goldfein said to the students.
After his stop at the 6th ATKS, he went to the 49th Maintenance Group’s weapons load hangar where he loaded a missile on the wing of an F-16 Fighting Falcon with a weapons load crew.
They worked together to lift the missile underneath the aircraft to attach to the wing. Once his hands-on experience was complete and the job was done, he spoke with the Airmen briefly before presenting them with coins for their hard work.
Goldfein began what Holloman AFB now knows as “Commander’s Corner” on the radio. He wanted a forum where he could call in and communicate happenings within the local community and base populations.
“Sometimes you plant seeds and they hit fertile soil,” Goldfein said about Commander’s Corner. “This one has hit fertile soil and grown over the years, so it has been fun to watch.”
One of his last stops was at the 311th and 314th Fighter Squadrons, where he connected with the F-16 students. He discussed virtual reality training and reminisced about using two plungers to practice maneuvers.