JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - LACKLAND, Texas –
Air Force Reserve senior leaders learned about the many missions Reserve Citizen Airmen of the Alamo Wing perform during a visit here in early March.
Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, commander of the Air Force Reserve Command, and Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly, AFRC command chief master sergeant, were joined on the visit by Chief Master Sgt. Timothy White, 4th Air Force command chief. White will soon be taking Kelly’s position as the AFRC command chief.
Scobee, Kelly and White visited several wing organizations, toured the new 433rd Medical Group building and ate lunch served by the 433rd Force Support Squadron’s Sustainment Services Flight at its single pallet expeditionary kitchen.
“The command chief and I are really focused on making sure our Airmen’s lives are better,” Scobee said. “We are trying every day to make our Airmen’s lives better, make this a great place to serve and create an environment where everyone wants to work with us because it’s the job they enjoy.”
While here, Scobee officiated the retirement ceremony for Col. Thomas K. Smith Jr., 433rd AW commander, piloted a C-5M Super Galaxy and experienced virtual reality technology at the 733rd Training Squadron.
“I am telling you, this place is incredible,” the general said. “The Alamo Wing is a great place. What I was really impressed with is everybody’s capabilities. The morale is high. … and that’s really important for a Reserve organization.”
The visit by the senior leaders provided an opportunity for Reserve Citizen Airmen to ask questions, receive feedback and be thanked for their service.
Scobee presented a coin and personally thanked Senior Airman Sajjad Al Khafaji, 26th Aerial Port Squadron ramp specialist, for his work ethic and accomplishments in the Reserve.
Al Khafaji, 31, immigrated to the United States five years ago from Baghdad. He had previous experience with the American military as a translator for the U.S. Army in Baghdad.
“Whenever there is a need for a volunteer, he steps up,” said Maj. Cliff B. Harris, 26th APS commander. “He is just one of those Airmen who is dependable. He is going to be one of our up-and-coming NCOs in the next five to 10 years.”
“Coin or no coin, it is an honor to shake the hand of the general,” an excited Al Khafaji said. “I always wanted to join the service. It is answering the call to duty. This is a great country. The United States has given me everything. I am really grateful for everything and this opportunity for me being here.”
The commander spoke highly about the Airmen he met here.
“My overall impression is that this wing is in great shape,” he said. “I am really glad to be here to witness it.”
The Alamo Wing, activated in 1949 in the Reserve as the 433rd Troop Carrier Wing, provides combat-ready forces to meet the needs of combatant commanders around the world.