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AFGSC Commander Coins Award-Winning Services Program Manager

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Shelby Thurman
  • Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

A logistics programmer in Air Force Global Strike Command’s A4 Directorate was recognized by the command last month for his years of outstanding performance managing helicopter maintenance, services and acquisition contracts for the command and the Air Force.

Andrew Robinson, who was the Department of the Air Force’s Outstanding Air Force Services Program Manager of the Year in 2022, was coined by Gen. Thomas Bussiere, the AFGSC commander, for another year of superlative service in the command’s Weapon Systems Sustainment Branch.

Originally a crew chief for the KC-10 Extender, the B-52 Stratofortress and other aircraft during his enlisted career, Robinson transitioned as he rose in rank from hands-on roles to leading Airmen as a senior noncommissioned officer. The subject matter expertise he acquired as a young Airman was invaluable when he moved to managing aircraft maintenance projects after retiring and transitioning to civil service in 2010.

Today, modernization is at the forefront of Robinson’s work, with contracts focusing on the next generation of airpower and defense of the nation’s nuclear force.

“Modernization is both a journey and the end result of hard work by countless professionals across the enterprise,” said Col. David Miller, AFGSC A4 director. “The AFGSC A4 Directorate is very fortunate to have Andrew Robinson, and many others like him, whose efforts to sustain our current weapon systems and pave the way for new ones were recognized by our commander and at the Air Force level.”

One of the projects Robinson led was the AFGSC Helicopter Services contract, which provided full-spectrum aircraft maintenance, weapons and aircrew service requirements for the command’s UH-1N Huey and MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters. The $140 million contract enabled more than 10,500 flying hours and produced more than 5,500 helicopter sorties in direct support of security, emergency response, and operations at AFGSC’s three missile bases.

At the service level, Robinson was the functional lead for the Air Force’s $835 million Rotary Wing Maintenance Consolidated contract. His logistics acumen – backed by decades of experience on the flight line – made him the go-to expert for mission partners seeking advice on how to execute the contract’s functions for 80 aircraft at seven wings, three Major Commands, and the Air Force District of Washington.

“There are so many super talented program managers out there in the Air Force,” Robinson said after being recognized, explaining his surprise at receiving the award. He added, “I never really do work for an ‘atta boy,’ but to actually hear it is really validating for sure.”

When Air Force Assistant Secretaries Frank Calvelli and Andrew Hunter announced that Robinson had won the 2022 award by noting, “These individuals and team members have shown exceptional leadership, initiative, and innovation in delivering capability to our warfighters. Additionally, we pass along thanks and praise to the other nominees and to the acquisition workforce. Your tireless efforts are helping improve our warfighting capability and do not go unnoticed.”

Robinson’s award comes as the AFGSC helicopter fleet is preparing for a generational change, with the phased replacement of the venerable UH-1N Huey helicopters with the new MH-139A Grey Wolf. The new aircraft will significantly enhance operational capabilities for helicopter squadrons and better support the safety and surety of the Air Force’s missile fields. Robinson recently conducted a Program Management Review, bringing AFGSC A4 staff, helicopter units, private industry and others in to review the program, identify issues, and propose solutions to keep the program on track.

Robinson noted that this evolution of the AFGSC helicopter fleet is one of the many ways in which the Air Force and, in his opinion, the Department of Defense, will continue to spearhead modernization efforts. AFGSC is at the center of other major emerging weapon systems, such as the LGM-35A Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile system and the B-21 Raider long-range striker bomber.

“In short, and aligning with General Bussiere’s agenda, we need to stay ahead of China and Russia in our modernization efforts,” said Robinson. “The LGM-35A Sentinel ICBM, the B-21 Raider, and the MH-139A Grey Wolf provide credible modern weapon systems that support and deliver long-range strike capability, along with nuclear and conventional deterrence.”

As he was being coined by the AFGSC commander, Robinson noted an unexpected connection between the two men.

“Never in my 37-year career did I ever imagine that my boss, the Global Strike commander, would also be someone who graduated from the same high school I did in our small Vermont hometown,” said Robinson.

“Given the state population and small-town demographic, it’s unique that two alumni from St. Johnsbury Academy would eventually be associated on the same MAJCOM Staff.”