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‘Mighty Eighth’ commander demonstrates B-1 readiness, bridging to future of America’s lift and strike base

  • Published
  • By 1st. Lt. Kaitlin Cashin
  • 7th Bomb Wing

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Maj. Gen. Andrew Gebara, 8th Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Steve Cenov, 8th Air Force command chief and J-GSOC senior enlisted leader, visited Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, showcasing B-1 readiness, agility and resilience April 29.

During his visit, Gen. Gebara and Chief Cenov addressed Airmen during an all call, flew in a 7th Bomb Wing B-1, and formally opened the installation’s newest command and control node.

During the all call, Gen. Gebara and Chief Cenov said Airmen have to adapt to be ready for today’s fight, and they need all of them to win it.

“We’re winning right now, but we’re going to be losing hard if we don’t adapt,” the general said. “The things that got us here are not necessarily going to be the same things that get us there going forward.”

However, it’s not as simple as going “back to basics,” Gen. Gebara said. “We have to simultaneously figure out how to get back to what’s important and focus on those training tasks, while at the same time be mentally agile enough to prepare for the future.”

Chief Cenov said it will also take Airmanship and resilience.

“Every single one of us is responsible for each other,” he said. “The last couple of years we’ve been dealing with a lot of different challenges. We need to get back to our core strength to make sure that we’re mission effective. We need to master our craft; we need to focus on what’s truly important. We need to take care of one another.”

The chief said he himself had to personally work at resiliency. He said he wanted his reputation to reflect someone who wasn’t bothered by anything.

“If something would bother me, I would just ‘throw it in my ruck,’” Cenov said. “There came a time I was talking to an Airman. I had all the right answers – go talk to mental health, go talk to the chaplain, work it out kind of thing -- and it was my ‘aha’ moment. I was like, ‘Man I’m such a hypocrite, because I have the same issues but I won’t talk about them.’”

According to Cenov, that was the day he changed, and he talked to mental health.

“There’s nothing more important to us than making sure you are taken care of,” he said.

The general then flew in a B-1 with 9th Bomb Squadron and 28th Bomb Squadron Airmen.

“After launching in a B-1 flight from the Dyess flight line, I am confident in the high-end readiness of the 8th Air Force bomber fleet,” Gen. Gebara said.

According to Gebara, bombers are currently the DoD’s most requested capability, and the aircraft continues to play a critical role in executing indefinite strategic deterrence.

In just one day, the 8th Air Force command team witnessed many of the professionals and initiatives that make the 7th Bomb Wing ready. This included coining top performers and innovators, and officiating a ribbon-cutting at the installation’s newest command and control campus.

“From the 7th Bomb Wing’s demonstrated strike capability, to the modernization efforts brought forth by the opening of the Command and Control Center, there is no doubt that Dyess Airmen are ready to fight tonight,” Gebara said.

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