Meet the command chief

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
In the winter of 1990, following his high school graduation, Anthony Johnson enlisted in the U.S. Air Force while living in the small town of Selma, Ala. Today he is Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Johnson and, more specifically, the 39th Air Base Wing command chief.

Johnson said he joined the Air Force for a couple of reasons, but mainly because he had a glimpse of what the life of a patriot was like.

"When I was 14 years old I went to visit my uncle, a Staff Sgt. at the time, at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.," said the 22-year veteran. "While there I had the opportunity to see the community he was a part of, the base housing he lived in, and the mission set he was responsible for. It was at that moment that I realized 'this is what I want to do.'"

That want eventually became reality, and Johnson said since the beginning of his career he has strived for excellence. It's that work ethic and commitment to giving his all that led to his nomination and appointment to command chief.

"I have always been a person that has strived to be the best I can, and that mindset has helped me attain the rank of Chief Master Sergeant," said Johnson. "I am thankful that Col. Craig Wills [39th Air Base Wing commander] has given me the opportunity to be his command chief. On a grander scale, I will still be doing what we chiefs do at every level - taking care of our Airmen and the mission."

The prior security forces chief explained that his number one priority is to support the wing commander's priorities, which equate to mission, readiness, and strengthening host nation partnership. Some of Johnson's means to do that are ensuring professional development and readiness of Airmen, as well as ensuring proficiency in workspaces.

"As we consider our force, we need to make certain our Airman have the right skill sets to accomplish the mission. This will come through honed abilities and technical expertise along with programmed professional military education that will produce an Airman capable and ready for today's and tomorrow's engagements."

With a history of various overseas and joint assignments, working and strengthening relations with other services and host nations is not a new concept to the chief.

"I believe we have a great relationship with our Turkish counterparts," he said. "Any time you make contact with our host nation partners you will find out what great people they are. They do all they can to welcome you into their community and really express that they're glad you're here."

Johnson said the strong relationships are not only seen at the command level, but at the squadron level and off-base as well.

"I could see the partnership as I visited different units such as in the 39th Operations Squadron, where our counterparts work alongside us in the air traffic control tower," he said. "You see the success in how our people get along and work together to do what's required."

The chief explained how it's important to continue strengthening relationships and that we should incorporate our host nation partners into the fabric of what we do each day to make sure we are successful in the mission.

"You can't alienate anyone from a process and expect that we are going to do well," said Johnson. "So, we strengthen our relationship by jointly discussing issues that concern our team then go out and execute the mission in a harmonious environment."

The chief concluded with a message for the Airmen of Incirlik.

"Every enlistment is what you make of it. Don't forget why you serve, try to be the best Airman you can be, voice your concerns, and know you have people around you that care."

"Your command team wants to know what you are dealing with so we're able to address your concerns and do what we can to make this assignment the best assignment possible, and not only for you, but also for your families."