MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D., –
Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett, accompanied by Air Force Global Strike leadership, connected with Airmen and families from the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing during her visit to Minot Air Force Base, March 5, 2020.
Barrett’s priorities for the Department range from building the United States Space Force, modernizing both Air and Space Forces, growing strong leaders and resilient families, to strengthening our allies and partners.
“The men and women of the Department of the Air Force and the capabilities we bring to the Joint fight are in high demand around the globe,” said Barrett in a recent memorandum. “By focusing on these priorities, and by building on the solid foundation of innovation and selfless service of our predecessors, we will continue to safeguard the trust placed in us by our fellow Americans.”
During her visit to Minot, Barrett met with spouses from around the base to hear about their views on daily life as well as family facilities on the base and in Minot, North Dakota. She also experienced the Global Striker mission of the 5th BW and 91st MW where she expanded on her vision for the future of the Air Force.
“I am so proud what our military spouses, base leadership and community partners have achieved in working so hard to pass the spouse licensure law here in North Dakota,” said Mrs. Keva Cochran, spouse of 5th BW commander Col. Bradley Cochran. “This law will allow spouses with eligible certifications to be recognized in our state, giving them more opportunities to support their loved ones in uniform while continuing to do what they love.”
Creating that culture of trust that values every individual and their family is one of Barrett’s top priorities. Spouse licensure is one example of the strides the Department of the Air Force has taken to foster and grow that environment. With the help of local leaders, that same stride has been accomplished in North Dakota, thus allowing spouses to bring their out of state certifications from station to station while also bringing more qualified professionals to the local economy.
While visiting Minot AFB, Barrett toured downtown Minot and took the opportunity to answer questions from military families while hosting focus groups at the 5th Bomb Wing headquarters. The focus groups consisted of Airmen from the 91st MW’s missile alert crews, the 5th BW’s bomber crews and the last focus group consisted of Team Minot’s valued military spouses.
“It felt nice, there were only about 9 or 10 people in the room. One from each squadron and enlisted rank on base,” said Airmen First Class Rachel Head, 791st Maintenance Squadron VES technician. “Quality of life, childcare and mental health were topics, but housing was a big topic.”
Leaders such as Barbara Barrett, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Air Force Global Strike Commander General Timothy Ray continue to show their dedication to the Air Forces’ quality of life at every turn by visiting and sitting down with Airmen and their families. Not only is the issue of building resilient military families important, but it is a priority for all leaders in the Department of the Air Force as shown in recent senior leader visits.
“You and your families reflect the best of our Nation,” said Barrett. “Thank you for what you do for our nation; we are proud to serve with you!”