3rd Air Force Commander Visits Camp Lemonnier
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin, 3rd Air Force commander, visited airmen assigned to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa and other U.S. Air Force assets here June 25-26.
The mission of 3rd Air Force is to plan, deploy, employ, sustain and redeploy airmen supporting combatant commanders in Africa and Europe.
While here, the general met with CJTF-HOA Commander, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Rob Baker, and toured several Air Force tenant units located at Camp Lemonnier. He also attended the Air Force Commander's Call June 26, where he presented two airmen with the Air Force Commendation Medal for demonstrating exemplary wingmanship and leadership qualities for heroic acts.
Franklin then gave airmen advice on how to make the most of their time while deployed to Djibouti.
"I think the secret to deployments is not to count the days… but rather get up every day and say 'I'm going to make this day count,'" said Franklin.
He stressed the importance of military members making improvements to their work area and leaving the deployed environment a better place for personnel rotating in after them.
"The focus should be 'what can I contribute to the joint fight here, to the joint effort here…' and particularly to [helping] the people in the eastern portion of Africa in support of [CJTF-HOA]," said Franklin.
He also touched on the significance of staying physically fit and taking the opportunity to pursue higher education during a deployment.
"Being on one of these deployments is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and get in shape," said Franklin. "It's (also) a great time to knock out some college courses whether for your bachelor's or master's degrees. You'll see your education aspects skyrocket significantly."
Stressing the importance of being diplomats to the Djiboutian people and giving back to the local community whenever possible, Franklin said, "Treat your Djiboutian hosts and co-workers with respect and kindness so we don't wear out our welcome here to our host nations."
In closing, Franklin also commented on the importance of familial support and expressed his appreciation to the families and friends of the deployed military members serving in Africa.
"I know it's a stretch on families to be deployed," said Franklin. "Please thank [your families] on my behalf for their service as well. We couldn't do it without [their] support."