Chief Master Sgt. of 1st Air Force visits 142nd Fighter Wing
By Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 12, 2014
PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. -- Chief Master Sgt. Ronald C. Anderson Jr., Command Chief Master Sgt., 1st Air Force, visited the 142nd Fighter Wing Tuesday to get a personal look at the wing's mission and interface with Airmen directly about their role in the Air National Guard.
The United States Air Force Air Combat Command (ACC) is headquartered at Tyndall AFB, Florida. The primary role of 1st Air Force is the air defense of the Contiguous United States.
Accompanying Anderson on his visit to Portland was Senior Master Sgt. Lorene Kitzmiller, the First Sgt. for 1st Air Force. After an introduction and welcome briefing at the wing headquarters by Chief Master Sgt. Julie Eddings, 142nd Fighter Wing Command Chief, the group of senior leaders began a day-long visit to multiple work sites around the base.
The first stop was the alert facility, where Anderson thanked the crew for their persistence in maintaining air sovereignty for the Pacific Northwest.
"In General Etter's World, you guys know this better than anyone, it is all about protecting the skies," said Anderson. Lt. Gen. William H. Etter is the commander, 1st Air Force.
The opportunity for senior noncommissioned officers to introduce some of their junior NCO's and Airmen face-to-face allowed Chief Anderson to personally recognize several Redhawk Airmen for their exceptional work.
During a stop at the Operations Group, Anderson presented Airman 1st Class Kourtney Marah and Pamela Carter with his Chief Coin and instilled in the young Airmen his future career expectations for them.
"Your leadership says that you are doing great, so this coin is not only for what you have started, but it is also a down payment for what you will do in the future," he said.
Anderson was able to personally interact with many Airmen as he moved from office to office. He was also able to gauge awareness to the specific functions the 142nd attains on a daily basis. This included getting a grasp on how the unit implements various procedures and integrates new equipment.
"Like everyone else, there can be struggles with new gear and getting it into service," said Master Sgt. Mike Larner, aircrew flight equipment specialist.
Looking over the pilot suits with Larner, Anderson asked, "Are the new G-Suits challenging?"
"They are just different - but the pilots like them because it adds more G-capacities," Larner replied, as the two of them inspected the new equipment.
Anderson and Kitzmiller made other stops around the base to including the command post, security forces, several aircraft maintenance work spaces, the munitions storage site, and a display of equipment used by first responders in emergency management and by the CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFP).
Anderson and Kitzmiller finished their visit to the Portland Air Guard Base with a meeting with Eddings and 142nd Fighter Wing Commander, Col. Rick Wedan, reviewing the Airmen and shops they visited that day.
The two senior NCOs from 1st Air Force told them how impressed they were with the unit. Addressing Wedan directly, Kitzmiller commented on the high motivation of Oregon's Redhawks.
"I have to say you have a very motivated group of Airmen and an extremely high level of morale with this unit," said Kitzmiller.
"I can't tell you how much that means to me to hear this kind of feedback," said Wedan. "When we were selected as the 'ACA Unit of the Year', I know that it meant a great deal to all our members for this honor as well."
Anderson concluded with praise about the amazing work going on at the Portland Air Base, and the professionalism of its Airmen.
"Gen. Etter recognizes, and I concur, that Portland's readiness and professionalism is without question - at the top and your Airmen are doing amazing work," said Anderson.