NEWS | June 1, 2015

Buccaneers rookies visit CENTCOM

By By Cpl. Jordan Belser, Central Command Public Affairs

MACDILL AFB, Fla., June 1, 2015 – Some of the newest players from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visited U.S. Central Command headquarters May 29 as part of their visit to the 6th Air Mobility Wing here.

The rookies spent time learning what CENTCOM’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and civilians do as part of their daily routine. The players also received a brief on the CENTCOM area of responsibility (AOR) and some of the challenges the U.S. military faces in the Middle East.

Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander, CENTCOM, welcomed the visitors and thanked them for spending time with the service members here. He also spoke about the Tampa community and the role troops play.

“We want to thank you all for being a positive influence in this community, a community that supports its military as well as any place I’ve been to,” said Austin. “We want you to know that as you suit up on Sundays, there’s an American service member overseas fighting to keep you safe.”

Director of CENTCOM’s intelligence directorate, Army Maj. Gen. Steven Grove, spent time explaining how CENTCOM accomplishes its mission

“We are the headquarters, but our job is in the Middle East,” said Grove. “That means we have to work with our folks overseas, including coalition partners, to make sure we’re doing our best to keep the fight over there, and maintain stability in the region.”

Bill Scullion, the CENTCOM Joint Operations Center (JOC) chief, showed the players how CENTCOM uses the JOC to monitor its area of responsibility, which consists of 20 countries throughout the region, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Scullion said meeting the new Bucs was a great opportunity, and was excited to let them know how important the personnel here are.

“We have millions and millions of dollars’ worth of equipment,” stressed Scullion. “But none of it matters without the service members standing in this room today. They are the driving force behind CENTCOM’s success.”