Senior enlisted leaders gather at Eglin

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Samuel King Jr.
  • 53d Public Affairs
More than 50 of the 53d's senior enlisted leaders gathered together for their annual conference Feb. 6-8 as "Big Week" kicked off at Eglin. 

The members traveled from the wing's diverse squadrons, some from as far away as Beale AFB, Calif., and descended on the Air Force Enlisted Village to join Chief Master Sgt. Randy Salefske, 53d Wing command chief, and the other group chiefs for a packed three-day seminar that was all about effective leadership, mentoring and how to make the wing better despite any obstacle. 

Chief Salefske wasted no time in letting the senior enlisted know what he hoped to accomplish. 

"I have three goals to focus on for this conference, and they can be taken back and applied to each and every unit and in your own lives," said the chief. "They are team building, education and focus." 

The first day was front-loaded with more than 12 briefings and a tour that covered all of the chief's three focus areas, from training to deployments, to volunteer organizations and education. The 53d Top Four provided a burger-burn lunch for the group. 

The next day introduced new topics like AFSO-21 and the Workcenter Availability Tool, as well as focus areas directly related to senior enlisted members such as career assistance, Senior NCO Academy, and the Chiefs' Leadership Course. The day closed with a workout from Master Sgt. Allen Ajaye, wing fitness "guru." 

The last day wrapped up with former Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Bob Gaylor addressing the group with his 2007 version of a speech he created after he retired from the Air Force, called "Hi Tech, Hi Touch." 

"For every new high tech device that comes into your life, you need to balance it with a high touch of humanity," said Chief Gaylor. 

Chief Salefske wrapped up the event with a thought for the senior enlisted leaders to take back to their units. 

"The success of officers and Airmen is dependent upon the mentorship and guidance they receive from their senior NCOs," he said.