Kehler sheds light on 'hot' topics during Malmstrom visit

General C. Robert Kehler, U.S. Strategic Command commander, talks to members of the 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron convoy response force July 31 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. During his visit Kehler also met with 341st Missile Wing leaders and interacted with the Airmen who go out every day to accomplish Malmstrom’s mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Turner)

General C. Robert Kehler, U.S. Strategic Command commander, talks to members of the 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron convoy response force July 31 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. During his visit Kehler also met with 341st Missile Wing leaders and interacted with the Airmen who go out every day to accomplish Malmstrom’s mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Turner)

General C. Robert Kehler, U.S. Strategic Command commander, presents a commander’s coin to Senior Airman Brandyn Neuhaus, 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron member, for superior service and a job well done. Kehler recognized exceptional Airmen from around Malmstrom during his tour of the base July 31. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Turner)

General C. Robert Kehler, U.S. Strategic Command commander, presents a commander’s coin to Senior Airman Brandyn Neuhaus, 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron member, for superior service and a job well done. Kehler recognized exceptional Airmen from around Malmstrom during his tour of the base July 31. (U.S. Air Force photo/John Turner)

General C. Robert Kehler, U.S. Strategic Command commander, addresses Team Malmstrom members during an all call at the base auditorium on July 31. Kehler answered various questions about sequestration, the New START treaty and other issues affecting the base and Team Malmstrom members. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Collin Schmidt)

General C. Robert Kehler, U.S. Strategic Command commander, addresses Team Malmstrom members during an all call at the base auditorium on July 31. Kehler answered various questions about sequestration, the New START treaty and other issues affecting the base and Team Malmstrom members. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Collin Schmidt)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- General C. Robert Kehler, U.S. Strategic Command commander, visited Malmstrom Air Force Base on July 31 to meet with 341st Missile Wing leaders, tour the base and interact with Airmen.

During his visit he held an all call to update Airmen on current topics and to answer questions in reference to situations that affect the daily life of service members and their families.

"We could not perform the job we do without Airmen who sacrifice precious time away from their families and loved ones," said Kehler. "You do an exceptional job even with how much is asked of you."

Kehler, one of Malmstrom's own, spent more than seven years in the Great Falls, Mont. area throughout his career.

"[Malmstrom] always feels like home," he said. "I love coming back here and spending time with Airmen. One of my biggest regrets was not buying some land up here to settle down on."

According to Kehler, there have been very big changes happening within the Air Force that could affect day-to-day operations: from budget cuts and sequestration to furloughs and the New START treaty.

"The mission here is important and the people who determine the budget understand this," Kehler said. "Funds are still being sent our way to support operations."

He also spoke briefly on the furloughs that are affecting civilians.

"The most important thing is that every day I believe I am doing something meaningful, something important," Kehler said. "Every day you are doing something important. There are things that you can control and can't control, so we need to focus on the things we can control. Focus on the mission."

The general also made it a point to recognize exceptional Airmen from around Malmstrom during his tour. Airmen who mirrored the Air Force core values were coined for their service, dedication, hard work and completion of the mission with excellence.

"Understand how proud [STRATCOM] is of you, that I am specifically proud of you," Kehler said. "When people ask me how I got started in the Air Force, I am always proud to tell them that I started in missiles and grew up in missiles. I believe there is something about this part of our operational business that is really special and there is something even more special about the people who do it. Thank you."