Story by PO2 Sean Castellano on 08/02/2019STUTTGART, Germany Members of U.S. European Command gathered together today to welcome a U.S. Air Force chief master sergeant as he assumed responsibility as senior enlisted leader of USEUCOM.
Chief Master Sgt. Phillip Easton, a Los Angeles native, assumed responsibility from Fleet Master Chief (SS/SW) Crispian Addington, who served as the command's top enlisted adviser since May 2016.
Easton comes to USEUCOM from Ramstein Air Base, Germany where he was the Command Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Air Forces Africa.
Easton has a background in aircraft maintenance working various aircraft weapons systems including the KC-135A/R, Airborne Warning and Control System, C-17 and F-16C/J aircraft. He was a military training instructor at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, for five years and served as the commandant of the Erwin Professional Military Education Center and mission support group superintendent at Kadena Air Base, Japan.
In his new role, Easton is responsible for advising the commander on a broad range of issues affecting the force, including readiness, professional development, quality of life and resiliency. He is also responsible for mentoring senior enlisted leaders across the theater, including those from NATO ally and partner nations.
"To our allies and partners, I look forward to strengthening relationships with the senior enlisted leaders of the nations within Europe and working side-by-side to build partnership capacity and improve interoperability," said Easton.
Gen. Tod Wolters, USEUCOM commander, presided over the event and presented the Defense Superior Service Medal to Addington in recognition of his accomplishments while assigned to the command.
"Through your leadership, USEUCOM has pushed warfighting readiness and the speed and the stance of our joint force to new heights," said Wolters. "Your passion for developing our NCOs and for the well-being of our service members, family members, and civilians has made an indelible impact on the command."
Addington, a native of Summerville, Oregon, began his career in 1985 as a submarine sonar technician and earned his enlisted submarine warfare specialist rating aboard USS Barb (SSN 596). His previous assignments include chief of the boat aboard USS Helena (SSN 735), command master chief of Submarine Squadron Seven, and command master chief of Submarine Group Seven/Combined Task Force 74/54. Prior to joining USEUCOM, Addington served as the command master chief for U.S. 7th Fleet.
"I would be remiss if I didn't personally thank the team of senior enlisted leaders sitting to my right [SEL's from across the area of operations]," said Addington. "You all have made this tour one of the most rewarding and productive of my career."
During his time as USEUCOM's senior enlisted leader, Addington logged thousands of miles traveling between ally and partner nations to visit with soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines throughout the command's area of responsibility. He also frequently worked with his foreign military counterparts to build partner nation capacity, improve interoperability and promote strong military-to-military relationships in the region.
"Building relationships is not only important within our command, it is also a focus area of our [Secretary of Defense] and Gen. Wolters," said Addington. "We will not fight alone; building partners and trust will enhance deterrence and lead to a winning team."