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On PACE: Bridging the Air Force core values with the mission

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Fisher, the superintendent of Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE), briefs senior enlisted leaders during PACE training at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., March 4, 2016. The training included tips on bridging the Air Force core values and its mission to accomplish a higher level of professionalism through trust, loyalty and commitment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michaela R. Slanchik)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Fisher, the superintendent of Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE), briefs senior enlisted leaders during PACE training at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., March 4, 2016. The training included tips on bridging the Air Force core values and its mission to accomplish a higher level of professionalism through trust, loyalty and commitment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michaela R. Slanchik)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Mathers, left, and Master Sgt. Corey Lobdell, both Whiteman first sergeants, practice a listening and communication skills exercise during Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE) training at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., March 4, 2016. PACE was designed to teach leaders how to embody a higher level of professionalism and communication to lead more effectively. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michaela R. Slanchik)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Mathers, left, and Master Sgt. Corey Lobdell, both Whiteman first sergeants, practice a listening and communication skills exercise during Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE) training at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., March 4, 2016. PACE was designed to teach leaders how to embody a higher level of professionalism and communication to lead more effectively. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michaela R. Slanchik)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Trust, loyalty and commitment; these are the three enablers that connect the Air Force's core values to its mission.

On March 4, 2016, Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Fisher, the superintendent of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE), visited Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., to train enlisted leaders on how to achieve a higher level of professionalism and be the best leader possible.

A small group of base leadership participated in PACE training last year, but more than 40 members of the 509th Bomb Wing (BW) and 131st BW attended training during this visit at Whiteman.

About one year ago, the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III activated PACE to inspire a commitment to the Profession of Arms while promoting a healthy environment of trust to help Air Force leaders in their personal and professional lives.

Fisher spoke about the bridge between the Air Force core values of Integrity First, Excellence In All We Do and Service Before Self, and the Air Force's mission to fly, fight and win.

"Healthy institutions stay true to their values while accomplishing the mission," said Fisher. "It is important that we never compromise values for the mission, and never compromise the mission for values."

The Air Force has four goals in order to ensure professionalism: inspire a strong commitment to the Profession of Arms, promote the right mindset to enhance effectiveness and trust, foster relationships that strengthen an environment of trust, and enhance a culture of shared identity, dignity and respect.

"We need to shape the environment so Airmen can flourish through mentorship," said Fisher. "Touch the people before you touch the work, because happiness breeds success."

Fisher stressed the importance of getting to know your Airmen and their goals. He also mentioned that every Airman is facing real-life situations, and it is important to recognize this as leaders.

"As leaders, our number one job is to bring out the best version of our people intellectually, physically and emotionally," said Chief Master Sgt. Mauree Powell, the 509th Mission Support Group superintendent. "We're always so busy in today's world. However, it's not going to fall apart right now if you take a few minutes for your Airmen. The biggest thing I learned is that as a leader, I can't put myself in a box. I need to listen to others' perspectives more."

Base leaders who attended the PACE training said they were thankful for the opportunity and thought it was beneficial.

"The PACE training helped me become more self-aware of my strengths and improve as a leader," said Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Drinkard, the 509th Bomb Wing command chief. "The training is great for anyone who has the opportunity to lead. In the end, we can all lead better."

Every member of the U.S. Air Force is entrusted with the responsibility to preserve national security and answer our nation's call at any moment. In order to maintain this trust, upholding values and professionalism is crucial. PACE provides strategies to leaders, thus supporting the Air Force core values and mission and enhancing the Profession of Arms.