12th AF Command Chief visits Beale

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- Chief Master Sgt. Harold Clark, 12th Air Force command chief, visited Beale Nov. 24 to focus on the challenges and successes Beale is experiencing.

During his visit he received advanced knowledge on the missions of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing as well as some of its tenant units.

"There's a lot we gain by visiting out here in order to be able to employ Beale's unique weapon systems," Chief Clark said.

The chief spent time at the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron learning in-depth mission capabilities of the RQ-4 Global Hawk and exploring the different avenues in which the platform can be used.

Chief Clark also sat down for lunch with the current Airman Leadership School class and discussed issues including future career plans and suicide.

"I had two members of my squadron commit suicide as a young security forces Airman and as a command chief I've had three occasions where Airmen have committed suicide as well," he said. "It affects me tremendously and like (Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force) Chief Roy said, 'one is definitely too many.'"

During lunch, Chief Clark gave a 12th Air Force commander's coin to an Airman from the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron, who saved the life of a suicidal Airman at another base by reacting quickly and making phone calls.

"We've got to expend all efforts when our Airmen have issues in relationships, financially, legally or at work and our antenna has to be up," Chief Clark said. "If necessary, we have to stand on desks until we get command directed help for our Airmen."

Chief Clark went on to say we have to embrace each other as Airmen and as wingmen. We're all part of the team and combat capability is affected if one of us is missing, hurting or not feeling well.

The chief included physical fitness as an area we needed each other to watch out for. He said we must all lead by example and help everyone we can with their health needs and risks.

"You cannot survive in combat if you don't exercise and we're going to have you as a casualty," he said. "It's important because we've got a huge bill to pay in TriCare that we can whittle down if we do some preventative resilience work with our medical programs and ensure folks are healthier."

Near the end of his visit the chief praised the work Beale Airmen continue to do on a daily basis. He stated that Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears, 12th Air Force commander, and the entire command staff are advocates for Beale. Anytime they get a chance to come out here and talk to the Airmen they make sure to tell them how proud they are of what they are accomplishing.

"Thank you for what you've already done in defending this country. Be very thankful and protective of the teamwork you show at Beale every day," Chief Clark said.