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8th AF commander tours Ellsworth

Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., the 8th Air Force commander, coins Tech. Sgt. Robert Pilon, 28th Bomb Wing legal office, before his speech at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 13, 2018. Dawkins reminded Airmen to continuously strive for excellence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas I. Karol)

Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., the 8th Air Force commander, coins Tech. Sgt. Robert Pilon, 28th Bomb Wing legal office, before his speech at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 13, 2018. Dawkins reminded Airmen to continuously strive for excellence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas I. Karol)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., the 8th Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander, lays out his priorities and vision during a speech at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 13, 2018. Dawkins discussed why lethality, families and innovation are important to the 28th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas I. Karol)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., the 8th Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander, lays out his priorities and vision during a speech at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 13, 2018. Dawkins discussed why lethality, families and innovation are important to the 28th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas I. Karol)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., the 8th Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander, smiles while being briefed at the Base Defense Operations Center at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 13, 2018. Col. John Edwards, the 28th Bomb Wing commander accompanied him throughout his visit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas I. Karol)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., the 8th Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander, smiles while being briefed at the Base Defense Operations Center at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 13, 2018. Col. John Edwards, the 28th Bomb Wing commander accompanied him throughout his visit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas I. Karol)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., the 8th Air Force and J-GSOC commander, fires an M-240 Bravo machine gun while touring the combat arms training and maintenance building, or CATM, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 13, 2018. Dawkins discussed how important lethality was for all Airmen during his all call. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas I. Karol)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., the 8th Air Force and J-GSOC commander, fires an M-240 Bravo machine gun while touring the combat arms training and maintenance building, or CATM, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 13, 2018. Dawkins discussed how important lethality was for all Airmen during his all call. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas I. Karol)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., the 8th Air Force and J-GSOC commander, coins Airman 1st Class Kelsey Gray, a 28th Bomb Wing aircraft maintenance squadron weapons loader, while viewing a B-1B Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 13, 2018. Dawkins discussed the importance of taking care of people during his all call. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas I. Karol)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., the 8th Air Force and J-GSOC commander, coins Airman 1st Class Kelsey Gray, a 28th Bomb Wing aircraft maintenance squadron weapons loader, while viewing a B-1B Lancer at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Nov. 13, 2018. Dawkins discussed the importance of taking care of people during his all call. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas I. Karol)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- After firing an M-240 Bravo machine gun, watching his aide-de-camp get taken down in a security forces K-9 demonstration, and addressing the men and women of Ellsworth Air Force Base in an all call assembly, Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr. experienced a little bit of everything during his visit here Nov. 13.

“Not only were [Ellsworth Airmen] professional and proficient, but I saw quite a bit of innovation,” said Dawkins, the 8th Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander. “I saw how the team is leveraging technology to provide more realistic training, and that helps all of the Airmen.”

The general toured the base, talking with leadership and learning all that the 28th Bomb Wing does to accomplish the mission and to take care of families.

“One part that really stuck out to me was the Little Defenders area,” Dawkins said. “That shows that Security Forces is taking care of a new mother and taking one thing off her plate. Is that innovation? I think it absolutely is. At the end of the day, it’s about taking care of people so they can focus on being the most lethal warfighter possible.”

Dawkins was shown base improvements that increased the wing’s lethality, which aligns with the general’s priorities.

“For [8th Air Force] it’s about long-range precision strike,” Dawkins said. “We have to do our job, putting bombs on target, on time.”

The general reminded Raider Airmen what they are working to achieve: one team, focused on war-fighting and striving for excellence.

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