7th AF welcomes new chief

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brok McCarthy
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The Seventh Air Force welcomed its new command chief master sergeant Saturday after a 17-hour flight trip from Incirlik AB, Turkey. 

Chief Master Sgt. Ray Allen replaced Chief Master Sgt. Vance Clarke, who recently departed to be the command chief at Spangdahlem AB, Germany. 

"My wife, Yong, and I are very excited to be here," he said. "I was stationed at Kunsan about 10 years ago and was on the peninsula quite often as the Pacific Air Force Command civil engineering chief enlisted manager five years ago. From what I have seen so far, there have been vast improvements made all over the 7th Air Force. 

"Quality of life improvements have been made all over, not just to facilities used during our off-duty time, but to facilities where people work." 

Quality of life issues tie directly into one of his biggest priorities -- people. 

"I have been in the Air Force for more than 28 years," he said. "I came in before mentoring was a catch phrase to get our leaders to mentor. I was always taught to take care of my people and still do today. I feel it's very important that we know our people; their strengths, shortfalls and how they are doing in their personal lives. It is critical to take care of our Airmen so they can take care of the mission. 

"While I'm here, I'm looking forward to getting out and meeting everyone in the 7th Air Force family -- enlisted, officers, civilians, Korean nationals and family members. This includes going out to smaller places people tend to forget about." 

He also expressed a desire to rekindle some old friendships made on previous visits to the peninsula. 

Three areas he said he would like to help improve during his tenure are performance reports, decorations, and alcohol-related incidents (ARIs). 

"My goal is to see that EPRs and decorations are done on time," Chief Master Sgt. Allen said. "With the turnover rate on the peninsula, it's important these career impacting documents are done in a timely manner so everyone gets the recognition they deserve on time. Tours are very short here and if someone PCSes without their decoration and calls back in four to six months to check on it, chances are they will be talking to someone they didn't know and who has no knowledge of what they have done. It is imperative that we recognize those that deserve a decoration quickly. I like the 'Pin 'em where you win 'em' mentality." 

On ARIs, the Chief said, "I have little tolerance for alcohol-related incidents because they are totally avoidable. The Air Force came up with a Wingman program and many bases have adopted the F. E. Warren AFB, Wyo., 0-0-1-3 program. Both are great programs that basically show us there is no reason for ARIs to occur because we should be taking care of each other up front before an incident happens. It's a culture we need to foster in all Airmen at all levels so we stay safe, be ready to fight when needed and accomplish the mission every day." 

Chief Master Sgt. Allen, a Boston native, enlisted in the Air Force in 1978, one year after graduating high school. He began his Air Force career as a Geodetic Surveyor with the Defense Mapping Agency at F.E. Warren. He then cross trained into the engineering career field in 1993. His education includes two Associate Degrees, one from the Community College of the Air Force in surveying technology, which he received in 1986, and the other from Laramie County Community College in engineering technology, which he received in 1988.