NEWS | April 10, 2016

Secretary of the Air Force visits Soto Cano

By Capt. Christopher Mesnard Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

The men and women of Joint Task Force-Bravo hosted Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James Apr. 8, 2016, at Soto Cano Air Base, as she wrapped up her visit to various units in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

James used her time during the visit to meet with Airmen of the 612th Air Base Squadron and other members of JTF-Bravo, to discuss the importance the base plays in the Central and South American regions.

"It's no secret that the bulk of the resources and attention goes to the Middle East because of issues like Daesh, or to Europe because of Russia, or the Pacific because of what's happening in the South China Sea" said James. "Here in the SOUTHCOM AOR we're getting fewer people and fewer dollars on the ground, but, you're really making those resources go a long way, proving that a little bit, does go a long way."

After arriving, James attended a discussion on the SOUTHCOM mission in Central America, covering topics including multi-national firefighter training to build partner nation capacity, support to counter-drug operations, and humanitarian aid and disaster relief capabilities the base either supports or facilitates.

Additionally, James took time during the visit to talk with Airmen assigned to JTF-Bravo to discuss force-wide issues she's looking to address, including force size and structure, the new retirement system, the budget, and taking care of people.

Overall, the primary focus of James' visit centered on the Airmen, expressing her gratitude for their service as they explained how they support the SOUTHCOM mission at various work stations around the base.

"It is an honor and privilege to be able to stand here with you at Soto Cano," said James. "The mission you have at Joint Task Force-Bravo directly effects our safety and security back home as well as that of our partner nations here."