Elevating Airmen voices: stories of resilience unfold during CMSAF Bass visit

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kristal Munguia
  • 432nd Wing/ 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing

Airmen assigned to the base shared their stories of resilience and dedication during Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Joanne S. Bass’s visit to the base, 9 Jan. 2024.

Bass represents the highest enlisted leadership level in the Air Force, providing direction for the enlisted force and representing their interests. By traveling to military installations, Bass can fulfill this vital duty, sparking dialogue between herself and the Airmen.

“Hosting CMSAF Bass was a great experience for the entire 432nd Wing family,” said Chief Master Sergeant Cory L. Shipp, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing command chief. “Her visit provided a unique opportunity for our teammates to engage with our most senior enlisted leader, to showcase our mission, and to gain perspectives that will inspire and fortify our force.”

The visit commenced with the wing’s mission brief explaining its indispensable role within the broader Air Force landscape, gaining a comprehensive understanding of its pivotal contributions to its overarching objectives.

Afterward, Bass visited the dedicated men and women of the 432nd Security Forces Squadron and witnessed their crucial role in safeguarding the base. Bass learned about the Augmentee Program, the solution to combating manning issues within the squadron. The program provides training such as instructing suspects, handcuffing, combative techniques, and more to Airmen from different Air Force specialty codes, who then become a defender for approximately 60-120 days.

“The Augmentee Program has given our Defenders the opportunity to provide an even better scope of base defense without having to stretch their resources,” said Senior Airman Ariel O’Shea, 432nd Security Forces Squadron augmentee. “I’ve appreciated the opportunity to work with them and get a behind-the-scenes understanding of the amazing job they do to keep us operating smoothly 24/7/365. Gaining insight into the security forces career field has been humbling, and I will forever treasure the sacrifices they and their families make to serve our mission.”

Bass then visited the 11th Attack Squadron where they demonstrated their role in the new developments in Satellite Launch and Recovery (SLR). To learn more about SLR, click https://www.creech.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/3375370/slr-creating-new-legacy/.

The base’s senior enlisted leaders and first sergeants then got the opportunity to sit down and have lunch with Bass to discuss the issues surfacing among Airmen. Topics discussed were Airmen readiness and welfare, leadership development and mentorship, quality of life initiatives, and operational challenges and mission support.

“Being the first sergeant for our Defenders, I’m responsible for safeguarding the well-being and effectiveness of every Airman under my charge,” said Master Sergeant Jacob L. Brown, 432nd Security Forces Squadron first sergeant. “After speaking with Chief Bass, I was able to amplify the voices of my Airmen, while also getting the chance to receive mentorship from our senior enlisted leader.”

To learn more about O’shea’s experience as an augmentee, click https://www.dvidshub.net/news/461845/shutter-clicks-trigger-pulls-my-journey-security-forces-augmentee.

Bass then immersed herself in the intricacies of MQ-9 operations by taking a seat in a simulator, gaining firsthand insights into the collaborative efforts of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) pilots and sensor operators as they work in tandem to execute missions.

“I really enjoyed getting to meet Chief Bass,” said Senior Airman Brittany Posner, 867th Attack Squadron sensor operator. “I was able to explain my Air Force specialty code and she had several good questions to ask further about what sensor operators do day-to-day. I also appreciated her asking us what changes we would like to see implemented across the Air Force which was very appreciated.”

She then saw an MQ-9 static display and a portable aircraft control station (PACS) demonstration. To learn more about PACS, click https://www.creech.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/3375370/slr-creating-new-legacy/

The visit concluded with a base-wide all-call, an open dialogue between Bass and Airmen, providing an opportunity for the enlisted force to be heard and addressed. She also took the time to recognize the outstanding contributions of some exceptional Airmen:

A1C James Marx, 89th Attack Squadron

SrA John McKenna Oneill, 489th Attack Squadron

SrA Richard Delgado Lopez, 22nd Attack Squadron

SSgt Ryan Sierra, 432nd Support Squadron

SSgt Jacob Allen, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron