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ACC command chief meets with Beale Airmen, gets firsthand look at mission

Staff Sgt. Evan Schuelke, 9th Physiological Support Squadron life support technician, explains parts of the U-2 Dragon Lady pressure suit to Chief Masters Sgt. Richard Parsons, command chief of Air Combat Command, June 21, 2012 at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. Parsons was introduced to the U-2 mission with a viewing of a full pressure suit and a chase car orientation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mr. John Schwab)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Evan Schuelke, 9th Physiological Support Squadron life support technician, explains parts of the U-2 Dragon Lady pressure suit to U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Parsons, command chief of Air Combat Command, June 21, 2012 at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. Parsons was introduced to the U-2 mission with a viewing of a full pressure suit and a chase car orientation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mr. John Schwab/Released)

(Left) Senior Airman Michael Gaines and (right) Staff Sgt. Tara Schmidt, , 9th Physiological Support Squadron life support technicians, dress Chief Masters Sgt. Richard Parsons, command chief of Air Combat Command, in a U-2 Dragon Lady pressure suit at the 9th PSPTS integration room June 21, 2012 at Beale Air Force Base, Calif.  Parsons was visiting base facilities and meeting Airmen from units and organizations responsible for accomplishing the mission of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing and tenant units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mr. John Schwab)

(Left) U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Gaines and (right) U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tara Schmidt, 9th Physiological Support Squadron life support technicians, dress U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Parsons, command chief of Air Combat Command, in a U-2 Dragon Lady pressure suit at the 9th PSPTS integration room June 21, 2012 at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. Parsons was visiting base facilities and meeting Airmen from units and organizations responsible for accomplishing the mission of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing and tenant units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mr. John Schwab/Released)

Chief Masters Sgt. Richard Parsons, command chief of Air Combat Command, meets with company grade officers at the 9th Communications Squadron conference room Beale Air Force Base, Calif. June 21, 2012.  Parsons met with Airmen in several forums during a three day visit to Beale in order to convey the ACC commander's vision and Airmen's concerns across the chain of command.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Mr. John Schwab)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Parsons, command chief of Air Combat Command, meets with company grade officers at the 9th Communications Squadron conference room Beale Air Force Base, Calif. June 21, 2012. Parsons met with Airmen in several forums during a three day visit to Beale in order to convey the ACC commander's vision and Airmen's concerns across the chain of command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mr. John Schwab/Rleased)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- In order to better understand and communicate the needs of Airmen, Chief Master Sgt. Richard Parsons, command chief of Air Combat Command, visited here June 20-22.

Throughout his visit, the chief toured base facilities and met Airmen from units and organizations from across the base responsible for accomplishing the mission of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing and tenant units.

During his enlisted call with more than 400 Airmen, Parsons thanked Airmen for their service and the contribution they bring to the fight each day.

"Every Air Force leader says 'thank you,' but I'd like to put legs on that," he said. "We sacrifice the common bonds other people enjoy with their families and friends from home each day... Those are the things we give up so we can serve our country."

The common subject discussed during site visits and meeting with groups of Airmen was budgets, cuts and numbers for the future.

"It's time to get serious and think hard about where we put our money," said Parsons. "These will be challenging times, but it will be good for us to focus on our core functions."

The command chief noted the Air Force is the smallest it's ever been even though we are engaged more than ever.

"That means we need the maximum productivity from every single Airman," he said. "We don't need to do things half way; we need to do everything incredibly well. We should not do more with less but accomplish what is most important with the people we have."

Although meeting with Airmen and communicating the priorities of Air Force leaders was a goal for the visit, Chief Parsons visited several major units, including the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, 9th Operations Group, and was introduced to the U-2 mission with a viewing of a full pressure suit and a chase car orientation.

"Beale leads an incredible mission and does it with incredible Airmen," he said. "Beale plays a huge role in our day to day operations worldwide. There is not an instant that goes by when that is not relevant."