ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited Ellsworth Air Force Base, June 25, 2018.
During her visit, Wilson met with Airmen from the 28th Bomb Wing while touring the new 28th Security Force’s Little Defender’s Den and state-of-the-art Cold Spray station inside the 28th Maintenance Squadron.
“I really enjoyed spending time with Airmen,” Wilson said. “I sat down with Airmen from the Security Forces Squadron and had the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with some of our B-1 pilots”
Wilson spoke with base members on one of her priorities: innovation.
“Usually, the best ideas of what we need to get after and fix come from Airmen doing the job,” she said. “There’s a lot of Airmen with great ideas”
She also noted Ellsworth’s focus on improving readiness, another of her priorities, after visiting the Little Defender’s Den inside the Base Defense Operations Center. This family room was created to provide Airmen a place to bring their children in the event of a recall, as well as provides mothers a safe and clean place to breastfeed and pump.
“It was a great example of how a squadron saw a problem and they just got after and fixed it,” Wilson said.
While touring the inside of the 28th Maintenance Squadron, Wilson watched a physical demonstration of cost-effective modernization through Cold Spray technology that saves the Air Force time.
“Cold Spray is one of the technologies we’ve identified as one of tremendous potential,” Wilson said. “And I think Ellsworth will be leading the way.”
The base may soon be host to the next frontier for the Air Force – the B-21 Raider.
“We’ve announced that this is one of the finalist bases to be looked at for the B-21 Bomber, and a base that has bombers now is going to have bombers in the future,” Wilson said. “The B-1 will be around for a while, but as we move beyond the B-1 further into this century, it’s going to be a fleet of B-52s and B-21 bombers.”
Visits from the Secretary of the Air Force help inform Airmen and align base efforts to accomplish the mission.
“It’s great for our Airmen and our families and spouses to be able to interact with her and to get updates on where the Air Force is going strategically and what the future holds,” said Col. John Edwards, 28th Bomb Wing commander. “She tells us exactly what’s going on, what her priorities are and how we tie into those priorities to make sure we get the Air Force mission done.”