JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
Retired Air Force ACE Col. Chuck Debellevue, the highest-scoring Ace of the Vietnam War, spoke to the 433rd Maintenance Group Feb. 10 here.
Debellevue, a New Orleans, Louisiana native and graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (then named the University of Southwestern Louisiana) spent roughly a hour speaking to the Citizen Airmen on the importance of teamwork and its importance of completing the missions assigned to aircrews. The synergy needed between maintenance and operations crews were vital to completing the mission and had one other important factor.
"It translates to combat power," said the retired ACE.
He also spoke of the fear needed to survive the harrowing experience.
"The fear factor was there," he said. "Every day could be your last day. If you made it back, the next day could be your last mission. We all knew we could die. You had to take control of your fears."
His visit to the Alamo Wing concluded with a motivational speech in front of 400 members and guests during the 433rd Airlift Wing's Annual Awards Banquet at Courtyard SeaWorld Hotel.