Dispatch from Ali Base, 15 May 2009

Here is this week’s dispatch from Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff,  who sends us more news of life and events at Ali Base, Iraq.

While all Ali Base Airmen work hard every day achieving excellence, one group strives even harder. They are Airmen of the base honor guard.  “Our mission is to render military honors to members of the 407th Air Expeditionary Group,” said Staff Sgt. Davis F. McClain II, 407th Air Expeditionary Group Honor Guard NCOIC.

Sergeant McClain said the group is a close-knit group, something the head trainer agrees with.

“I’ve had people join the team who’ve had trouble at their work centers, and their supervisors didn’t think they would cut it in the honor guard,” said Staff Sgt. Lindsey Bumgardner, honor guard head trainer (photo above). “We accepted them on the team, and we pushed them to their limits. We mentored them, and they’ve done a complete turn-around in their attitude. That’s the satisfaction I get from being a part of the team, knowing I helped change someone possibly for the rest of their life.”  (Story here)

When he’s not serving as the 407th Air Expeditionary Group superintendent, Chief Master Sgt. Gerald Delebreau (photo left) participated in the Ali Base Top 3 Immersion Program. He spent time in the 407th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Management Flight. “It is something I wanted to do for years.  Spend some quality time with the enlisted in their work area and work hand and hand with them to get a better appreciation for the work they do,” Chief Delebreau said.

“I enjoyed getting my hands dirty and working up a sweat with the vehicle personnel.  This Immerse program is a great chance for us to experience the hard work of other career fields and get a better understanding of the processes from start to finish,” the chief said. “Every career field brings something to the fight and this program helps promote just that and the fact that we have amazing Airmen doing outstanding things.”

It hasn’t been all work for Ali Airmen this past week.  Base firefighters and security force personnel met for a hard-fought volleyball championship game May 11 (photos here). The firefighters proved to have a hotter game by winning 15-12.