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Gates Visits New Airmen: Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Lackland AFB, Tex., on July 24 to get a first-hand look at the Air Force’s basic military training and speak with the service’s newest crop of airmen before they received their airman's coin in a ceremony. "Earlier today, I got the opportunity to observe some of the training and exercises here," Gates said. "I'm impressed to say the least.” He also emphasized the importance of the Air Force for the defense of the nation. "Without the Air Force the war effort would grind to a halt," he said. "Every soldier and marine in Iraq and Afghanistan is profoundly grateful to have you overhead." (Lackland report by SSgt. Jeremy Larlee)