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Air Combat Command Chief visits Pope

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Cammie Quinn
  • 43rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Sullens, Air Combat Command Chief, arrived at Pope to visit the Wing, Pope tenants and to speak at the Senior NCO Induction Ceremony. During his visit, Chief Sullens also took time to have breakfast with 25 Airmen. 

Chief Sullens is the sole enlisted advisor to the commander and staff for the enlisted force stationed at 25 wings, 15 bases and more than 200 operating locations around the world. He advises the commander on attitudes, concerns, morale, welfare, readiness and the effective utilization of the more than 84,000 assigned enlisted personnel. He provides guidance to the assigned 39 Command Chief Master Sergeants and performs as functional manager for the Command's 390 First Sergeants. 

Chief Sullens acknowledged the tremendous hard work and effort brought by the Airmen at Pope who are under the ACC command. "It's a special breed of Airmen to have this attitude of warfare to work in a hostile and thankless job - they love what they're doing."
ACC is the primary force provider of combat airpower to America's warfighting commands. ACC supports global implementation of national security strategy, operates fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, battle-management and electronic-combat aircraft. It also provides command, control, communications and intelligence systems, and conducts global information operations. 

Pope has an integral part of ACC's mission by providing the machine, the Airmen and team that bridge the gap between what the war fighter on the ground needs in the way of immediate battle field support and what can be delivered from the air, said Chief Sullens. "It's an evolving mission set -- is incredibly complex and involves an incredible amount of teamwork, and one of the hubs is right here at Pope." 

Chief Sullens has been in the service for more than 30 years and has held the chief's rank for more than half his career. He attributes his longevity and his past 33 years of service to a devotion to patriotism. "I believe in this line of work, and there are not enough people to do it." "If we don't do it, then who will?" Chief Sullens added. 

In reference to the military lifestyle, Chief Sullens said it is quite an exercise in group dynamics to pull people from all different walks of life and to tell them that their one common denominator now is the uniform and a guiding line of principles. He believes the glue that holds Airmen together is the common belief in what they do. "You can't train that, you can't demand that, all you can do is ask for their commitment - and remarkably, our Airmen give it." 

"Our Airmen are an extraordinary bunch - they have their niche and they know what they want to do," said Chief Sullens. "They're driven. If we can retain them and keep that momentum, we'll remain the greatest Air Force in the world."