CENTCOMs senior enlisted leader visits the “Rock”

Command Sgt. Maj. William Thetford, U.S. Central Command’s senior enlisted leader, updates the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing leadership Jan. 23, 2018, during a staff meeting at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

Staff Sgt. Hayley Hall, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron cape forecasting, noncommissioned officer in charge, shakes hands with Command Sgt. Maj. William Thetford, U.S. Central Command’s senior enlisted leader, Jan. 23, 2018, while she receives his challenge coin at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

Command Sgt. Maj. William Thetford, U.S. Central Command’s senior enlisted leader, updates the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing leadership Jan. 23, 2018, during a staff meeting at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

Command Sgt. Maj. William Thetford, U.S. Central Command’s senior enlisted leader, talks with Airmen Jan. 23, 2018, during a tour of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega Jr.)

Command Sgt. Maj. William Thetford, U.S. Central Command’s senior enlisted leader, updates the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing leadership Jan. 23, 2018, during a staff meeting at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

Command Sgt. Maj. William Thetford, U.S. Central Command’s senior enlisted leader, updates the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing leadership Jan. 23, 2018, during a staff meeting at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. William Banton)

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- U.S. Central Command’s senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. William Thetford, paid a visit to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, Jan. 23, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

The purpose of the visit was for Thetford to meet with Airmen and to gain a better understanding of what the men and women of the 386th bring to the fight. He also provided leadership with his perspective on the CENTCOM mission with updated guidance from the honorable James Mattis, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and Gen. Joseph Votel, U.S. CENTCOM commander.

“The insight he provided is key into what you are doing and why you are here,” said Col. Stephen Hodge, 386th AEW commander, to his leadership staff on Thetford’s perspective. “Get the word down to your youngest Airman or Soldier and let them know why they are here. It will lead to greater victories in the end.”

Thetford got a first-hand look at the Air Force in action and its capabilities by visiting various squadrons, leaders, and Airmen who contribute to Operation Inherent Resolve.

“I really enjoyed meeting Sgt. Maj. Thetford,” said Staff Sgt. Hayley Hall, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron cape forecasting, noncommissioned officer in charge. “I found him to be very approachable and easy to talk to. I liked that he took an interest in us and got to know a little bit about our background. I thought the visit went well with the short amount of time we had with him.”

Hall was one of a handful of Airmen to be recognized and receive a challenge coin from the command sergeant major.

Thetford has an assortment of accomplishments throughout his illustrious career. His humble beginnings in the military Army began as an airborne infantryman in the early 1980’s. as a U.S. Army Airborne infantryman. As he continued in his career, he obtained his Army Ranger, and Army Special Forces tabs which catapulted his career to where he is today. He has deployed multiple times in support of: Operation Urgent Fury-Grenada, UNOSOM II-Task Force Ranger, Operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom. He has also participated in peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.

“His desire to make sure we're building reliable and enduring partnerships with both our host nation, and our partner nation teammates was the message I took away from his visit,” said Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Pachasa, 386th AEW command chief. “Fostering these relationships is going to be key in building a more prosperous global community.