News Search

ANG command chief meets with 193rd SOW Airmen

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tony Harp
  • 193rd Special Operations Wing

As a few unsuspecting junior-enlisted Airmen from the 193rd Special Operations Maintenance Group gather together and chat, a group of chief master sergeants enter the maintenance bay.

Unbeknownst to the Airmen, the chiefs move closer and closer.

The suspenseful theme to the movie “Jaws” seems to play out in my mind as they near the edge of the group.

One of the Airmen senses their presence and they all turn nonchalantly toward the chiefs, not recognizing who they are at first.

I can almost see a quick cycle of mental computations spin through the Airmen’s minds when they become aware of the ranks. Casualness begets realization, realization begets fear, fear begets rationalization, and rationalization begets discipline. In an instant the Airmen are locked up at parade rest. There is a brief “Are we in trouble?” look on their faces.

Among the chiefs is Chief Master Sgt. Ronald C. Anderson, the command chief master sergeant of the Air National Guard.

Anderson visited the 193rd Special Operations Wing to speak with leaders and reach out to the Airmen as he toured the base Oct. 22.

After a few moments, the 193rd SOMXG Airmen are soon put at ease when they realize they are in fact, not in trouble, but Anderson was just looking to meet with the Airmen.

One of the main purposes of Anderson’s tour was to greet Airmen, get to know their background and thank them for their service within the ANG.

Anderson went around the group of 193rd SOMXG Airmen, getting to know each one and asking what questions and concerns they had for him. He also used this opportunity to present an ANG coin of excellence to Senior Airman Ashley Skwiat, a crew chief with the 193rd SOMXG in recognition of her hard work and dedication to the Wing. Anderson concluded his time with the Airmen by gathering together and taking a group selfie. It was probably not the chain of events the Airmen expected when Anderson first walked upon them. 

I had the opportunity to shadow and photograph Anderson’s tour as he met with Airmen from the Wing.

Anderson also utilized this time with the Airmen to find out what type of concerns and challenges they are facing.  

Meeting with Airmen and finding out what they need plays a big role in getting funding, said Anderson.

Anderson uses specific examples he takes from Airmen as he works with Congress to help influence funding and laws for the ANG.

These specific examples of an Airmen’s needs are sometimes more persuasive than his own experience in service when he is trying to present a proposal to Congress, said Anderson.

Anderson continued his tour through the Wing, sometimes deviating from the set schedule and surprising more Airmen in the process.

Eventually Anderson’s tour was cut short, cut short in the sense that he was now around 20 minutes late for his lunch with the Wing first sergeants. It seemed as though he wanted to meet with all the Airmen throughout the Wing.

Anderson said he returned to service after retirement because he loves what we do.

Watching him interact with the Airmen that day, I could see a genuine concern and interest on his face when they shared their stories. I believe that he truly does love what we do and takes great pride in the United States Airmen.