Under Secretary of the Air Force visits Beale Published March 9, 2012 By By Senior Airman Shawn Nickel 9th RW Public Affairs BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- Under Secretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton visited here March 6-8 to learn more about Beale's continuing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission. During her visit, Conaton toured the 548th ISR Group, aircraft static displays, Beale's flying squadrons, the 9th Physiological Support Squadron and met with Airmen during breakfast and an Airmen's call. Conaton is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force, which include organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of more than 332,000 active duty members, 176,000 Air National Guard and Reservist, 190,000 civilians, and their families. "Being able to represent Airmen (in the field) at the Pentagon is what leadership does on a day to day basis," she said. "Hearing from Airmen and seeing their work first hand is the best way to make sure leadership decisions are made that allow us to continue to be the best air force in the world." During the Airmen's call, breakfast, and squadron visits, Airmen had the opportunity to speak with the Under Secretary and ask questions. The subject of the questions varied, but most were focused on current events, such as the reduction in defense budgets and force strength. "It is an exciting time to serve and we value each and every Airman," she said. "We are striving to keep a force adequate to successfully complete our missions while still maintaining the budget. At the same time we will continue to take care of Airmen and their families with minimal impact to benefits, such as health care costs." Conaton concluded her Airmen's call and visit to the base by thanking Beale Airmen for their contributions and direct impact to national security. "ISR is essential to our present Air Force and future Air Force as well," Conaton said. "Thank you for all you do. The highest levels of Department of Defense leadership know about your mission and what you bring to the fight."