News>22nd Air Force command chief checks on his troops
Chief Master Sergeant Steven Larwood, 22nd Air Force command chief, straps in a parachute simulator and jumps to his virtual destination in the aircrew flight equipment shop. As part of his job, he makes monthly visits to wings assigned to the 22nd AF to encourage Airmen and listen to their ideas and concerns. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tabitha Dupas)
Chief Master Sergeant Steven Larwood, 22nd Air Force command chief, looks into his virtual helmet to locate his landing target while strapped into the aircrew flight equipment's parachute simulator. This is one of the many shops the chief visited upon his visit to the 403rd Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tabitha Dupas)
Chief Master Sergeant Steven Larwood, 22nd Air Force command cheif, sits in the horness of a parachute simulator in the aircrew flight equipment shop. Master Sgt. Ray Reynolds, 403rd Operational Support Squadron, instructs the chief on how to operate the simulator when he stopped by to visit the shop as part his visit to the 403rd Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tabitha Dupas)
Chief Master Sergeant Steven Larwood, 22nd Air Force command chief, listens to Master Sgt. Ray Reynolds, 403rd Operational Support Squadron, as he explains how to operate the parachute simulator. On Chief Larwood's visit to the 403rd Wing during April's Unit Training Assembly, he was able to meet with the many Airmen and learn about their individual jobs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tabitha Dupas)
Chief Master Sergeant Steven Larwood, 22nd Air Force command chief, attempts his landing in the parachute simulator at the 403rd aircrew flight equipment shop. The computer to the left of the photo is where the instructor sets up a scenario and the screen to the right is what Chief Larwood views in his virtual helmet. This is one of the many shops the chief visited at the 403rd Wing's UTA. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Tabitha Dupas)
"I think it is important for people at wing level to have access to headquarters for any concerns or problems that can't be fixed at the local level, they have a mechanism to voice those concerns up the chain of command to get to MAJCOM (Major Command)," said Chief Larwood.
The 22nd Air Force conducts monthly visits to all of its assigned wings according to the command chief. In doing so, they are able to ensure the Airmen are ready to do their jobs when called upon and are developing in their careers.
"I enjoy meeting the different people," he said. "I go to one wing and meet talented Airmen and think these are the smartest and sharpest Airmen I've ever seen. Then I go to another wing and get impressed all over again."
Before starting the day, Chief Larwood had breakfast with Airmen at the Live Oak dining facility. Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Woitalla, 403rd Wing command chief, escorted Chief Larwood to the squadrons and shops to meet more Reservists to learn of their different jobs in which the wing.
He stopped by the 403rd Operational Support Squadron's aircrew flight equipment shop, where Master Sgt. Ray Reynolds, shop supervisor, was able to discuss the shop's efficiencies and things he would like to see happen.
"A visit from the chief is always a plus," said Sergeant Reynolds. "It lets the workers and supervisors know that upper management is present and cares enough to stop by to check on personnel."
"One of the best things about my job is going to the numerous organizations because everyone does things differently," said Chief Larwood. "When I find a program that's being done at one base, I can encourage them to share that with other bases that may be struggling in that area."
After the tour and discussion, the chief was able to attempt a few jumps in a parachute simulator.
"Experiences like this definitely give you an appreciation of what other people do in the Air Force," said Chief Larwood. "As the command chief, I represent everybody, so I can't just focus on one career field. I enjoy seeing what other Airmen are exposed to in their jobs."
"The visit is helpful on both ends," said Sergeant Reynolds. "The chief can hear what is going on in the work place on a first hand basis. Then in return, we as workers can hear what changes, events, etc. that are being developed in the numbered Air Force arena. The visit was very welcomed and highly appreciated."
Chief Larwood last visited the 403rd Wing during the May 2010 UTA. Since then, he said he noticed that the overall attitude of the wing has improved.
"Personally, I get re-glued every time I go to a different organization because you get the excitement of why you still serve all over again when you meet people at all different stages of their career," said Chief Larwood. "I meet brand new Airmen still in their first year of service all the way up to chiefs who are getting ready to retire. "It brings everything full circle of why we still do what we do."