Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh on April 22 received the enlisted service’s greatest award, the Order of the Sword. CMSAF James Cody presented the award during a ceremony at Maxwell AFB, Ala., saying “the entire Air Force is honoring you, all of the enlisted airmen that you have helped. They are all thinking of you and saying, ‘What a great leader.’ ” The award was adopted by the Air Force in 1967, and is the highest tribute enlisted airmen can give a leader, a Maxwell release states. Welsh, who will retire this summer, was nominated for the award in September. He told airmen at the ceremony to “take care of each other. … Keep standing for what you stand for.”
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.