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Meet the new helicopter squadron commander

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
After moving around from state to state as a child, living in Indonesia for eight years and being stationed at Minot Air Force Base, Wyoming, Lt. Col. Joshua Hampton is now calling Malmstrom his home.

Hampton took command of the 40th Helicopter Squadron June 24, and since then he has fit in quite well. He is no stranger to the nuclear deterrence mission and served as the director of operations for the 54th Helicopter Squadron at Minot AFB.

Hampton was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has a son and daughter, 11 and 9, and considers Southeastern United States home.

When he was a child, Hampton traveled to Indonesia where his father provided services to the country as a missionary.

While there, Hampton learned to speak Indonesian and has since joined the Language Enabled Airman Program. The LEAP is a career-spanning program to identify, develop and sustain Airmen’s foreign language and cultural capabilities.

His early experiences in Indonesia worked in his favor as he deployed to Indonesia for tsunami relief in 2004, which turned out to be his most memorable experience in his Air Force career.

“It was probably the most rewarding experience that I’ve done,” Hampton said. “Just being able to step in and do some interpreting and conducting airlift scheduling to ensure the (aid) got to the right places. The main thing I learned, from a logistical point of view, was how involved a deployment really is.”

His father served in the Army and his brother currently serves in the Alabama Air National Guard, neither of which had a direct impact on his decision to join the Air Force.

“I saw aircraft and I wanted to fly,” Hampton said. “Initially, I wanted to fly the A-10 but I was (visiting) a helicopter squadron and saw what they did so I thought it would be awesome to be a helicopter pilot.”

Throughout his career, Hampton has piloted four variations of the Huey including the UH-1H, UH-1N, the German D-model and an Indonesian Huey.

Hampton said one of his goals here is to continue to ensure the mission is executed safely and securely, and to not lose any of his teammates.

“If I had one goal, it would be to continue the 100 percent return rate from flying,” Hampton said. “I don’t want anyone to not ever come back from flying a hazardous mission.”

With that, however, Hampton said sometimes it can be challenging to keep his team healthy while they are not at full capacity.

“My biggest challenge is managing the enlisted aircrew because we have a demanding mission set where they are under a lot of physical strain,” Hampton said. “These Airmen do amazing work but it’s hard to keep the critical mission enablers, the flight engineers, rescue technicians, and aerial gunner specialists completely healthy.

“They’re the ones doing all the hard work,” he continued. “I do what I can and I try to give them time off, down days and make sure we’re constantly monitoring our fatigue numbers.”

Hampton said he is excited to be leading his unit here and looks forward to watching his Airmen succeed.

“I don’t get much happier than seeing my people do a good job with minimal direction from me,” Hampton said. “I’m extremely proud of everyone that works here.

“I acknowledge the hard work my team is doing in a resource-constrained environment,” he continued. “Our sole job is to support the wing and we completely understand that.”