KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
The 403rd Wing held two commander’s calls the morning of March 6 at the Roberts Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Facility auditorium.
Wing Commander Col. Stuart M. Rubio kicked off the events by welcoming wing members and went on to provide a recap of all the training accomplished during the three-day February Unit Training Assembly where 22nd Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Brett C. Larson toured the wing.
“(General Larson) came away with a great view of the 403rd Wing, and he got to see where we are now and where we are heading in the future,” said Rubio. “During his visit, the general also mentioned that we have from now until we get the call to be ready. With everything happening in the world today, we need to accomplish tasks, whether it’s getting a vaccination or accomplishing training, so that we are ready to go if we get the call.”
He then went on to recognize Airmen who earned command awards and the wing’s quarterly and annual award winners. Wing members who earned command-level awards included:
The 403rd Logistics Readiness Squadron received the Air Force Reserve Command Daedalian Maj. Gen. Warren G. Carter Logistics Effectiveness Award.
Capt. Anthony Gehl, 403rd Maintenance Squadron, received the AFRC Gen. Leo Marquez Award.
Master Sgt. Ryan McClellan, 36th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron earned the AFRC Aeromedical Evacuation crewmember Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Award.
Tech. Sgt. Prejean, 403rd Wing Safety, received the AFRC Weapons Safety Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Award.
And, Staff Sgt. Kristen Pittman, 403rd Wing Public Affairs, received the AFRC Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Frost Outstanding Communication NCO Award.
The Wing’s Annual Award Winners were also announced.
The Airman of the Year is Senior Airman Braden Brown, 403rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
The Noncommissioned Officer of the Year is Tech. Sgt. John Douglas, 403rd AMXS.
The Senior NCO of the Year is Master Sgt. Tiesha Baldwin, 403rd Aeromedical Staging Squadron.
The First Sergeant of the Year is Master Sgt. Crystal Jones, 41st Aerial Port Squadron.
The Company Grade Officer of the Year is Capt. Dedrick Powell, 41st APS.
The Field Grade Officer of the Year is Lt. Col. Lisa Haik, 403rd ASTS.
The Category I Civilian of the Year is Sarah Cinq Mars, 403rd Mission Support Group
And, the Category II Civilian of the Year is Paul McComas, 403rd Operations Support Squadron
The third (July-September) and fourth (October-December) quarter award winners were also presented their awards.
Airman of the Quarter: Senior Airman Jessica Crenshaw, 403rd Maintenance Squadron.
NCO of the Quarter: Tech Sgt. Jerovan Gayotin, 403rd AMXS.
Senior NCO of the Quarter: Master Sgt. Chasity Roush, 53rd WRS.
First Sergeant of the Quarter: Master Sgt. Crystal Jones, 41st APS.
CGO of the Quarter: Capt. Deidra Johnson-Walker, 403rd ASTS.
FGO of the Quarter: Maj. Jarod Hamblin, 53rd WRS.
Civlian of the Quarter Category II: Chad Cristaldi, 403rd MXS.
Airman of the Quarter: Senior Airman Shannon Smith, 403rd ASTS.
NCO of the Quarter: Tech. Sgt. Zachary Zieman, 53rd WRS.
Senior NCO of the Quarter: Master Sgt. Ralph Guevara, 403rd MXS.
CGO of the Quarter: Capt. Lawrence Monahan, 403rd Operations Group.
FGO of the Quarter: Lt. Col. Lisa Haik, 403rd ASTS.
Civilian of the Quarter Category I: Taylor Noel, 403rd OSS.
Civilian of the Quarter Category II: Paul McComas, 403rd OSS.
After the awards and recognition of Community College of the Air Force degree earners, Professional Military Education completions, and perfect fitness test scores, wing members were briefed on several programs such as the importance of mental health and available resources, Yellow Ribbon program opportunities available to reservists and their families, and professional development classes available through the newly established 403rd University.
Wing members received updates on operations security and the base’s shred policy, the new Comptroller Services Portal to help Airmen with their finance questions and issues, equal opportunity programs to include the Defense Organization Climate Survey where wing members can provide feedback to their leaders, and the Airman Safety App to identify and report safety issues. Wing members were also educated on current events impacting the Air Force and the importance of being ready.
Following those updates, Wing of Choice members were introduced to the wing’s new vice commander, Col. Shawn Mattingly, who shared details of his Air Force Reserve career and background. He also went on to say how the wing is working on developing a Company Grade Officer Council, and his newest recruits would be those CGOs who were quarterly award winners.
Command Chief Master Sgt. Barbara Gilmore also highlighted upcoming events such as Family Day, the Combat Dining Out and the Wing Christmas party scheduled for this year, and that the wing is looking for volunteers to assist with these programs.
“We are also looking for some hard-charging Airmen to step up to become first sergeants,” she said, adding that the next interview panel will be at the Wing Conference Room, Building 223, at 3 p.m. April 2.
Rubio then took the stage and spoke about his priorities before opening the floor for questions.
“When addressing resiliency and perseverance, this wing has faced some challenges in dealing with the budget, COVID-19, and the Unit Effectiveness Inspection, and this is on top of everything else happening in the world right now, so it’s important to know what resources are available to you and your families,” he said.
He also emphasized the importance of Wing of Choice members having a voice, which is why the wing has maximized the ways Airmen can provide their ideas and feedback to their leaders.
“I want your ideas and feedback,” he said, encouraging Airmen to let leadership know about their recommendations to improve the unit, issues they may be having, and to provide that feedback through the DEOCS, the survey on the revamped Unit Training Schedule for this year, or through the Air Force Connect App feedback button.
The commander also stressed the importance of the Air Force Inspection System and integrating it into daily operations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the wing.
The command chief emphasized the importance of going the extra MILE, the acronym for the Air Force Inspection System’s Major Graded Areas of Managing Resources, Improving the Unit, Leading People and Executing the Mission. The MGAs provide the structure that inspectors at the wing and major command levels use to conduct inspections.
“We accomplish the mission very well, but there are still things we can improve and we need to continuously look at those processes,” said the commander, adding that the next UEI is Oct. 13-18. “Let’s prove the actions that we take by documenting them, and integrating AFIS into our daily operations.”