Thanks to the outgoing Razorback Chapter President SMSgt Efrem Wilson, Col Gerald Donahue 19AW commander, and all leadership from the 314th AW, the 189th AW and the 913th AG plus all the civic leaders for their great support for our Winter Board meeting on Saturday, 10 February 2018.
The seven members of the board started our visit by meeting with superstar mobility airmen from the different units. They provided great input regarding what they thought about the association, how we can improve to provide better value to all members in general and the convention specifically. We met with Capt Christina Salinas, 314 AMXS; Capt Travis Dyke, 41 AS; Capt Ken Simon, 189 LRS; TSgt Dan Lovejoy, 19 MXG; TSgt Luke Tucciarone, 62 AS; SSgt Taylor Brill, 61 AS; SSgt Allen Mason, 19 LRS. What a great mix of Operators, Maintainers and Loggies, thanks to all of them for taking the time to help us make our association better.
Following this small group meeting the larger group of attendees met at the Dining Facility to have lunch with airmen. This is always a highlight of our trip giving the attendees a chance for some one-on-one time with Mobility Airmen, several of these Airmen have only been in the Air Force for a short period and on their first assignment. It is inspiring to spend time with them.
Following lunch we met with the Wing leadership from across Little Rock. They offered a Team Little Rock mission briefing and a great discussion on the status of operations in the C-130 community. It is clear the Herk world is focusing all their efforts on Full Spectrum Readiness after years and years of constant operations in one theater. Our president, CMSgt (ret) Mike Kerver then presented an A/TA update brief.
The group then toured the 62d Airlift Squadron, home of the Blue Barons, our host was the Squadron Commander, Lt Col Jared Paslay. The 62d conducts all C-130J training in the aircraft. Lt Col Paslay showed us the “Monster Garage” which included areas where C-130J Pilot and Loadmaster students work with Instructors refining some basic but challenging skills. He also demonstrated a group of short instructional videos developed in the 62d and available worldwide to C-130J operators. We finished the 62d tour after Lt Col Paslay showed us the squadron’s collection of memorabilia, including uniforms, maps, pictures, log-books, aircraft models. All of these items were donated by former Blue Barons going back to World War II to be displayed in the 62d AS.
After our visit to the 62d Col Dean Martin, 189 OG/CC introduced us to the new 189th OG Det 1 Cyber training facility, we were hosted by Maj Scott Anderson and Maj Eroica Waggoner who oversee the Cyber Skills Validation Course. They stated the Cyber domain touches every other domain – every ship, plane, satellite, tank and radio has some kind of chip in it. All are vulnerable to cyber attack. Special technology and training is needed to operate in this cyberspace warfighting domain. This course provides reserve component communications specialists introductory training in all aspects of cyber warfare and reduces entry level training from 7 months to 7 weeks. Graduates from this course earn their Cyber Wings and proceed to follow-on, weapon system specific, training.
On Saturday we held our board meeting at Little Rock’s combined club, Hangar 1080. The meeting was busy and productive. We received an AMC update from Col Johnny Lamontagne and Maj Gen Tom Sharpy followed by a Razorback Chapter report. We then received reports from each of the officers, followed by updates on old and new business. This included a 2017 Fourth Quarter Treasurer’s report from Col (ret) John Murphy and approving the 2018 Budget. But the focus was on preparing for the upcoming 2018 convention. We received a convention planning update from our Vice President of Programs, Ms. Patti Cost. She included a review of the work accomplished by the 50th Anniversary planning committee to make sure the 2018 convention celebrates our heritage. The group also spent a good deal of time working through options for our 5oth Anniversary theme, we’ll finalize and announce on a separate post.
In summary we had a great board meeting and it was a wonderful opportunity to “strengthen air mobility bonds!”
It is a team effort to put together the details of a board meeting but a few people stood out in addition to SMSgt Wilson. These included Mr. Bob Oldham, Mr. Chris Schack (both 19AW protocol office) and MSgt Bruce Halbert (incoming Razorback chapter president). Without these professionals our meeting would not have happened.
Well done and thanks Razorback Chapter!
Our spring board meeting is scheduled for 9 June, hosted by the Pacific Northwest Chapter at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, hope to see you there!
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