International Senior Leaders gather for Summit
By Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
/ Published July 14, 2016
Joint Base Andrews, Md -- The senior-most enlisted leaders from 36 countries gathered for a summit here, July 12-15. Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody hosted the summit, which also included multiple Air Force command chiefs.
The gathering provided a setting for attendees to meet and discuss issues and initiatives that affect the international community of enlisted Airmen to further build counterpart relationships.
"As a nation, and as a military, we've recognized we need to work with our international partners to succeed in today's global environment. The operations today are inherently combined, because we all desire peace and security for the citizens of our nations," Cody said. "When we come together in this forum to collaborate on challenges and work toward common objectives, we strengthen the bonds we will absolutely count on when we're called upon to fight as one."
During the week, the leaders discussed topics including enlisted developmental special duty, manpower resources and career field management. The summit provided open-forum learning content for the attendees with a unique global networking experience. Republic of Singapore Armed Forces Military Expert 6 M.A. Pathi expressed an appreciation for the opportunity to participate.
"The rich experience and the repository of knowledge of senior leaders gathered provides us an excellent opportunity to share ideas and concepts," Pathi said. "The person to person experience creates friendships all over the world."
Over the three-day summit, the attendees toured the Pentagon and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum together. Members from the 11th Security Forces Squadron provided a K-9 demonstration that showcased the force multiplier capability of military working dogs. Belgium Adjutant-chief Erik Bejstrup leaped at the opportunity to a have a hands-on experience with Staff Sgt. Christopher Pettis and military working dog Gip.
"I enjoyed feeling the weight and the strength of the dog when he attacked," Bejstrup said. "There is a great benefit in using military working dogs as an extension of force."
The advisement, team building, and support generated from the senior enlisted summit has a direct impact on the global Air Force mission. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein's insight echoes the value of
continuing this strategy.
"We share a unique responsibility as coalition warfighters," Goldfein said. "What we do to build and sustain our coalition network gives us an asymmetrical advantage."