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Building key skill sets for our Airmen at Warren

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Tims
  • 90th Missile Wing Commander
Last week, I took a trip out to Guernsey with Col. Rob Vercher, 90th Operations Group commander; Col. Don Adams 90th Maintenance Group commander; and Col. Fran Vasta-Falldorf, 90th Medical Group commander. We flew out with Capt. Quentin Rohlfs, aircraft commander; 1st Lt. Jonathan Gentri, co-pilot; and Senior Airman Marke St. Hill, flight engineer; all from the 37th Helicopter Squadron. This was Quentin's first time as an aircraft commander. I thought his team and he did a superb job.

When we arrived at Guernsey, we were met by Maj. Sean Rowsey, 90th Ground Combat Training Squadron commander, and Dave Lycan, 90th GCTS deputy commander. On this particular visit, I wanted to look at the tactics we teach, as well as range policies and procedures. Guernsey is a first-class regional training center that extends well beyond the borders of Air Force Global Strike Command. Airmen from around the globe come here for training. It has the reputation of being one of the premier centers in the world.
I had an in-depth discussion with 1st Lt. Alex Stanton, Tech Sgt. Roy Eberle, and Senior Airman Daniel Reaume, all from the 90th GCTS, on the risk mitigation aspects that are in place while conducting live-fire exercises. However, at the end of the day, they are building key skill sets for our Airmen to add to their tool bag to make them more lethal, stronger, tougher and smarter.

We then were afforded the opportunity to interact with some of the Combat Arms Training and Marksmanship instructors to include Tech Sgt. Jesse Begin, Tech Sgt. Michael Canne, Staff Sgt. Wallace Litzinger, Staff Sgt. Jordan Gaddis, and Staff Sgt. Megan Thompson, all from the 90th GCTS.

Every time I go to Guernsey, I am not surprised at the reputation it has earned. All of our Guernsey instructors are the cream of the crop and it shows. Well done to you all.

We had another exercise last week. I know some of you may have been inconvenienced with temporarily closing the front gate, as well as demonstrating the ability to shelter in place. I hope you do not look at this as an inconvenience, but more of being a part of the exercise to help keep us sharpening our sword. Part of the exercise included two of our law enforcement Airmen entering a building and providing order to a very chaotic situation. While many Airmen were involved, I'd like to personally recognize Staff Sgt. Lucas Gutowski and Senior Airman Christian Cabague, both with the 90th Security Forces Squadron. Of note, we emphasize two important concepts that embrace the profession of arms: character and toughness. Both of these Airmen demonstrated this while entering a hostile situation with more determination and drive than their opponent. Great job by Lucas and Christian.

Another part of the exercise was a deployment scenario. While there were many moving parts to this, I was able to watch the deployment line processing. Second Lt. Jared Rund, 90th Logistics Readiness Squadron, was the airman in charge. He and his team processed 53 Airmen through the line in 75 minutes. This is a phenomenal performance. While we identified a few discrepancies when we demonstrated our deployment line for the inspector general back in January, it appears the kinks are out and now the precision is being refined.

I spent some time last week with Master Sgt. Jim Horan, 90th Security Support Squadron. Jim is responsible for the law enforcement training here on base. I am very impressed with the focus and intensity that he and his team provide. Thanks Jim for being a part of training our Airmen above the standards, to be ready to fight anytime, anywhere.

Thursday, I saw a break in my schedule and grabbed Colonel Vercher and headed out to the missile field. We ended up at Missile Alert Facility Charlie-01. The first impressions for field visits are critical. Staff Sgt. Mathew Hohe, the facility manager, and Staff Sgt. Shawn Houston, the site chef, both from the 319th Missile Squadron, were spot on with their professionalism. I received superior post briefs from Airman 1st Class Jancarlos Ledesma, the security response team leader, and Airman 1st Class Ashley Cody, SRT member, both from the 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron. If you want to hear them rattle off our mission and vision statements, go talk to them. Hearing this from our warriors is music to my ears. The flight security controller, Staff Sgt. Charles Summers, 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron, kept busy providing security for two flights. Watching him in action only reinforces my belief that our security forces members are simply second to none.

Downstairs I enjoyed talking with Captain Ryan Graves, missile combat crew commander, and 1st Lt Joseph Zito, both 90th OG. This was Ryan's last alert. I thank Ryan, and all of our crew members who perform a duty few understand, but if done wrong, can be detrimental to the security of our nation. Thankfully, Ryan will stay with us and join the codes team, which in my mind is the best 20th Air Force has seen in many, many years!

Our 90th Security Forces Group Global Strike Command Competition team has now been selected: Tech Sgt. Martin Howard, 90th MSFS; 2nd Lt. Bryan Gilliam, 90th MSFS; Staff Sgt. Cole Magin, 90th Task Response Force; Senior Airman Joshua Karabatsos, 90th TRF; Airman 1st Class Andrew Hopkins, 90th MSFS; Airman 1st Class Austin Heacock, 90th MSFS; and Airman 1st Class Michael Garrison, 90th TRF. Congratulations on being selected for an elite team!

What a true pleasure to host Gen. and Mrs. Donald Hoffman, Air Force Materiel Command commander, last week. General Hoffman was the guest speaker for the 63rd Air Force Anniversary Ball. We also had the opportunity to show them our base. Mrs. Ana Alston, Julie Tims, and Kim Duggan went off in one direction and Maj. Jerrod Duggan, 15th Munitions Squadron commander, and I went off in the other direction. He received a very in-depth tour of the Weapons Storage Area and when we were showing General Hoffman the newly resurfaced indoor track, there were a group of Airmen who were ready to begin the sit-up portion of the test. General Hoffman grabbed a mat and joined in. Of note, he pumped off 59 sit-ups!

The Anniversary Ball was another hit. The event was sponsored by the Air Force Association Cheyenne Cowboy Chapter 357. Irene Johnigan, AFA president, ensured all was in perfect order. The place was filled with Airmen and chapter members to watch General Hoffman present Mary Carroll, Gaylene Dizmang, and Leslie Swidecki with their Air Force Assiciation awarded National Medal of Merit. Mark Warner, 90th Missile Wing Protocol, and his band topped off a first-class evening. I just can't say enough about Irene. If you don't think one person can make a difference, then go talk to her. She does so much for our Airmen. Let there be no doubt that F. E. Warren is a much better place because of her!

Go Forth and Conquer!