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Chief Master Sgt. Terrence Greene, 437th Airlift Wing command chief
Chief Master Sgt. Terrence Greene, 437th Airlift Wing command chief
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Command Chief’s Corner

Posted 6/2/2010   Updated 6/2/2010 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by Command Chief Master Sgt. Terrence Greene
437th Airlift Wing command chief


6/2/2010 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- I recently had the eye-opening experience of flying with Airmen from the 437th Airlift Wing on a mission to Afghanistan. Observing the network of support services coming together for generation and sustainment of aircraft missions was fascinating. Crew transportation, fuels, flight kitchen, base operations, command post, crew stage, aircraft maintenance and a myriad of agencies all had key roles in our mission success. The level of professionalism and attention to detail was phenomenal.

I found the aircrew mission to be both rewarding and extremely taxing on the body. We endured many 14- to 18-hour and longer workdays followed by the dreaded bag-drag. A bag-drag is the loading and unloading of bags as we moved from aircraft, to crew stage, to billeting and the reverse. There is obviously a fine art, which I have not mastered, in modifying ones sleep cycle to accommodate constantly changing mission schedules and crossing of multiple time zones. The body's natural rhythm was further confused by inconsistent mealtimes where breakfast, lunch and dinner became interchangeable. Overcoming this challenge demanded personal resolve in ensuring healthy choices as snacks were more plentiful than opportunities to plan for or eat a balanced meal.

Maintaining high physical fitness standards and personal health is certainly a crucial aspect of meeting the demands of aircrew duty. Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz, at the Senior Enlisted Summit, commented on our fast paced mission as Airmen and said that we're running hard, so we must ensure that we stay fit. I saw many obstacles for crew members on hectic missions; however, every opportunity to establish a high level of resiliency when not on missions, or as scheduling permits, should be capitalized on. Fitness remains a personal responsibility. I therefore challenge our crew members, especially aircraft commanders, to plan for and encourage either team or individual fitness routines when the crew is on the road.

The pride and ownership displayed from crews we flew with was impressive. As the command chief, I paid special attention to the loadmasters, and they did not disappoint me in showcasing their mission. Senior Airman Joshua Weston, loadmaster instructor, and Senior Airman Raheem Crockett from the 17th Airlift Squadron are the kind of professionals that make our Air Force great.

These young warriors were on the mission from Charleston to Afghanistan, where they displayed an attention to detail and job knowledge that speaks volumes about mission focus, training and capability. On the return trip to Germany, our loadmaster was Master Sgt. Rodney Rutz from the 16th Airlift Squadron. On the eve of his career, Rodney continues to maintain exceptional standards with a keen eye for safety and undiminished pride in his mission.

I am very pleased to see how well our Airmen are performing during an especially tumultuous time for airlift requirements. Safety concerns were identified and mitigated at the lowest level without much fanfare. I credit strong leadership and rigorous training programs that instill the self-confidence and proficiency demonstrated by our Airmen. My only wish is that all Airmen involved in generating C-17 airlift could see how it all comes together as I did. Thanks for all that you do.



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