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Warren Wing Commander: traditions, honor seen throughout wing

  • Published
  • By Col. Greg Tims
  • 90th Missile Wing commander
If you heard some sirens last week around base or "Back in Black" blaring from the 90th Operations Group building, let me explain. This tradition is part of the Air Force Global Strike Command competition once called Curtain Raiser, Olympic Arena, Guardian Challenge, now called Global Strike Challenge. Sending teams off to compete with sirens and music blazing is an old tradition. I like traditions like this. I'm glad to see it is alive and well here.

Our Global Strike Challenge teams who competed last week were from the operations and maintenance groups. Our security forces warriors will be competing later and they are still in the process of finalizing their roster. Lots of work goes into selecting and training these teams. I was a trainer back in 1988. While the days are long and arduous, it is very rewarding to compete and go head to head with the best. I like competition, and this competition will make us more lethal, smarter and stronger. In November, we will head down to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., home of Air Force Global Strike Command headquarters to finish up the security forces competition and to participate in the score posting, as well as several other events.

Our operations team members include: Capt. Dylan Monaghan, 319th Missile Squadron; 1st Lt. Frank Timothy, 319th MS; Capt. David Bull, 320th Missile Squadron; 1st Lt. Jonathan Elsner, 320th MS; Capt. Daniel Moore, 321st Missile Squadron; and 2nd Lt. Stephen McVay, 321st MS; their alternates are 1st Lt. Jacob Lusson, 320th MS; and 1st Lt. Jessica Stuffel, 321st MS; and their trainers Capt. Nate Bischoping, 90th Operations Support Squadron; 1st Lt. Michael Ralph, 319th MS; 1st Lt. Brian Boner, 319th MS; 1st Lt. Avery Snyder, 320th MS; 1st Lt. John Rankin, 321st MS; and 1st Lt. Andrew Stevens, 90th OSS.

Our Electro-Mechanical Team members include: Staff Sgt. Ian Johnston, 90th Missile Maintenance Squadron; Senior Airman John Thompson, 90th MMXS; and Master Sgt. Beau Jones, 90th MMXS, is their trainer. The alternates for the EMT are Staff Sgt. Andrew Shelton, 90th Maintenance Operations Squadron and Airman 1st Class Seth Rutt, 90th MMXS. Our Facility Maintenance Team consists of Senior Airman Brandon Coble, 90th MMXS; Senior Airman Thomas Pierce, 90th MMXS; and their trainer Staff Sgt. Roland Dorta, 90th MOS. The Missile Communication Team includes: Staff Sgt. Shawn Allen, 90th MMXS; Senior Airman Jeffrey Watts, 90th MMXS; their alternate Airman 1st Class Seth Rutt 90th, MMXS; and their trainer Tech. Sgt. Brett Tatem, 90th MMXS. Rounding out our maintenance team is the Missile Handling Team competitors: Staff Sgt. Justin Lee, 90th Maintenance Group; Staff Sgt. Ricardo Hollingsworth, 90th MMXS; Airman 1st Class Evan Lemberger, 90th MMXS; Airman 1st Class Christopher Hermosillo, 90th MMXS; their alternate Senior Airman Gary Murley, 90th MMXS; and their trainer Staff Sgt. Neil Inman 90th MMXS.

Last week, we had two assessment teams come in and take a look around our base. The first team was the Food Vulnerability Assessment team. I have to share a quote he provided me.

The FVA inspector stated, Staff Sgt. Lily Gonzales, 90th Medical Operations Squadron, is the best NCO and her knowledge of food vulnerability requirements is what should be seen throughout the Air Force. Her support provided for the best FVA seen to date.

This is a very powerful statement made by a very seasoned inspector. Well done Lily!

The second team was the Joint Staff Intergrated Vulnerability Assessment. JSIVA is a branch of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which is a Department of Defense agency located at Fort Belvoir, Va. The team came in to look at the various programs and operations on the base. Overall, the accolades flowed in from the team lead about our antiterrorism program and the people who work in this area. He paid special recognition to Mark Ragsdale, 90th Missile Wing; Kelly Young, 90th MW; William McIntyre, 90th Security Forces Squadron; Master Sgt. Mark Owens, 90th SFS; Tech. Sgt. Troy Grubaugh, 90th MW; and Staff Sgt. Lily Gonzalez, 90th MDOS. This is no surprise to me. I have been dealing with Mark and his team for the past 15 months, and I am always pleased with their research and thorough homework as well as their sound and logical way ahead on various issues and events.

We celebrated the Air Force's 63rd birthday last Friday. Special thanks to Col. Don Adams, 90th MXG commander, and his folks for organizing the event, and kudos to 1st Lt Chris Wood, 90th MOS, for emceeing the event. We were honored to have Col. (ret) Chuck Blackburn continue the tradition of having the seasoned representative cut the cake. This was special: how many times do you go to an event like this and have the cake cut by a true hero who has a trophy named after him? Additionally, to continue on that part of the tradition, the junior member was Airman 1st Class Ricky Furlong, 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron. My thanks to all those who participated in the cake-cutting, and also to those who came to celebrate our 63rd birthday.

Finally, I want to share with you a few comments on the POW/MIA vigil and recognition ceremony we hosted at the State Capital. First, a hearty thank you to all those who volunteered to read the names and walk as our sentries for the 24-hour period. Secondly, I want to thank Master Sgt. Don Walk, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron, and Master Sgt. Mark Leuquire, 90th Force Support Squadron, for organizing a superb ceremony. We still have more than 80,000 Americans missing from World War II to present. It is important we hold vigils like this one to ensure they are not forgotten. It was an honor to have Mayor Kaysen join us and say a few words. Mayor Kaysen was a dog handler in Vietnam. The dog handlers are credited with saving more than 10,000 lives in Vietnam. We concluded the ceremony with Airman Marcus Bradley, 90th MDOS, playing Taps.

Go Forth and Conquer!