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AFGSC commander visits Team Malmstrom

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, visited Malmstrom Air Force Base to meet with Airmen serving in support of the nuclear deterrence mission on Oct. 28 to 30.

Kowalski began his three-day visit with civic leaders of Montana including Great Falls Chamber Executive Board members, the Military Affairs Committee, and city and county commissioners.

The general spent the rest of his stay traveling all over the installation meeting with Airmen in various work centers to include the 12th Missile Squadron, the 40th Helicopter Squadron, the Weapons Storage Area and the 341st Medical Group. He also had the opportunity to fly in a UH-1N Huey helicopter, observe a convoy demonstration and tour a launch facility.

On his final day here, Kowalski spoke with 20 Airmen at the Elkhorn Dining Facility over breakfast with an emphasis on leadership, success and discipline.

"What you do here is important and how you do it is important," Kowalski said. "If you [Airmen] weren't critical to this mission [at Malmstrom], you wouldn't be here. That discipline and professionalism you are being emerged in as young Airmen is one where we follow all checklists. Every day we carry around a significant trust and responsibility. You will not find anyone who is successful in their career field without having discipline in their life."

Following Kowalski's breakfast, he spoke to officers and senior noncommissioned officers during a briefing at the base auditorium.

"I need you to take a strong message back to your Airmen," Kowalski said during the briefing. "And that is what you do is important. It's not on the front page of the paper. It's not supposed to be something we get silver or Bronze Stars for; it's called deterrence. What you do day-in and day-out is prevent bad things from happening - on a global and small scale. What you do every day is maintain that ultimate guarantee of our national sovereignty. And the need for that is not going away anytime soon."

From junior enlisted Airmen and senior noncommissioned officers to lieutenants and colonels, Kowalski's message was the same to all: leadership and discipline applies to all members of Air Force Global Strike Command.

"Everyone is a leader here," he said. "This is not an Air Force where leadership starts when you are put in a leadership position.... As part of that special trust and responsibility is the attention to detail, discipline, professionalism, and compliance with checklists, technical orders and Air Force instructions. [All Airmen] have the responsibility for ensuring these incredibly powerful weapons remain safe, secure and effective. It's significant and it's something everybody in this command bears to some degree or another."