Chaudhary celebrates AANHPI month with Team XL, tours installation

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Laura Claypool
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

The 47th Flying Training Wing welcomed The Honorable Ravi Chaudhary, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Energy, Installations, and Environment as the keynote speaker for the celebratory Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander luncheon, May 31, 2023.  

Chaudhary is an Indian American son to first generation immigrants and a well-known speaker for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community. 

He closed out Laughlin’s AANHPI Heritage Month by recognizing the many events hosted during May by Team XL and sharing how his cultural background and experience as a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate and Air Force pilot developed him for his current position.

“My heritage prepared me,” he said. “It instilled in me this tradition of service that anchored me in what I do and bolsters my purpose to serve each of you. I started my career at Laughlin AFB, and it seems only fitting to return to celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month.”

The visit included a full-day tour of Laughlin, where Chaudhary completed initial pilot training and kick-started his 21-year career as a C-17 pilot and flight test engineer. He spent the day getting to know the Airmen and current mission initiatives of Team XL. 

“I met an incredible group of burgeoning AANHPI leaders at Laughlin AFB today,” Chaudhary said. “These leaders will help shape the future Air Force. The growing diversity of backgrounds and perspectives remains critical to maintaining our competitive edge.”

One initiative highlighted throughout Chaudhary’s his visit was the effort to “flip the script” on perceptions of the base, operational goals, and attacking the mission. 

Laughlin is classified as a remote and isolated location which has led to the perception that the 47th FTW lacks a robust infrastructure and adequate resources for Airmen and families.

“Our Airmen are flipping the script here,” said Chaudhary. “That means bringing in new initiatives and new programs that are improving quality of life and allowing us to execute our mission. This is such an energetic, dedicated group of people who take pride in their service and are truly dedicated to the ethos of our Airmen.”

Personnel from across the wing shared key initiatives such as the Undergraduate Pilot Training transformation, climate and energy resiliency, airfield maintenance, housing restructure, and food sustainment. 

“Flipping the script is changing the narrative of Laughlin for the better,” said Chief Master Sergeant Anthony Burleson, 47th MSG senior enlisted leader. “We’re just as good as those bigger bases; we create the world’s best pilots here and we have the best Airmen here supporting that mission. It starts with everyone believing they are the best.”

Celebrating diversity and strong community messaging concluded Chaudhary’s visit with Team XL, and reinforced the efforts of all Airmen and leadership here to continue growing and strengthening innovation and improvement.

“If there is a foundation for ‘one team, one fight’,” said Chaudhary, “it is rooted in how we treat each other. It’s not diversity or the mission. It’s diversity for the mission and I know that you are the generation that will deliver.”