MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Alabama —
August, 2022 has been a busy month for the 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell Air Force BaseAlabama.
It began with the 30th anniversary of the 908th Operation Support Squadron, formed on August 1, 1992.
Simultaneously, the only Air Force Reserve Command wing in the state saw its commander and command chief spend the first three days of the month at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., where other AFRC leaders gathered to see Major General John Healy promoted to Lieutenant. The general then for the AFRC Change of Command Ceremony, presided over by the Air Force Chief of Staff, General CQ Brown, Jr., where Healy assumed command from the outgoing commander of the AFRC, Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee. After the change of command ceremony, Scobee celebrated his retirement after 36 years of service.
On August 4, 2022, saw firefighters from The 908th Civil Engineer Squadron heads for Fort Benning, Georgia where they enjoyed a series of firsts for the section; first time to conduct joint interoperability training with U.S. Army firefighters and first time to conduct helicopter training, helping 908th firefighters lean forward in preparation for the 908th’s handover to the MH-139A Gray Wolf helicopter formal training unit. Then, on August 5, 2022, the same firefighters trained at Maxwell AFB on a building/structure trainer as part of their annual requirements to be ready for anything when the alarm sounds.
On Saturday, August 6, 2022, the unit’s training assembly opened with the premiere of ‘State of the 908th: ‘Back to Basics’ with Col. Craig Drescher’, a formal interview of 30 minutes with 908 AW Commander and Public Affairs Specialist 908 AW Senior Airman Austin Jackson. The two men discussed the Wing’s new mission statement, vision statement and priorities. They also shared how Drescher wanted the Wing to use this transition period to “get back to basics” by focusing on improving physical fitness standards, medical readiness, enlisted performance reports and officers, as well as dress and appearance.
Later that same day, and continuing throughout the UTA, the 908th Command Team consisting of: Drescher; the vice-commander, Colonel Casey Burril; and command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Tracy Cornett, completed an “MVP Tour”, where they visited units across the Wing to discuss the Wing’s new mission statement, vision statement and priorities, while holding Q&A with Wing members.
That afternoon, the wing welcomed the new commander of the 908th Operations Group, Col. Shane Devlin during a assumption of command ceremony. Devlin joined the wing from Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, where he served as director of inspections for the 403rd Wing.
UTA’s Saturday close was an event that began in July 2022 and, for the day, started earlier than any other part of the wing. The defenders of The 908th Security Forces Squadron spent the day at Fort Rucker, Alabama, qualifying for their “heavy weapons,” the M203 Grenade Launcher, M240B Machine Gun, and M249 Light Machine Gun.
On Monday, August 8, 2022, the Wing learned that former 908 AW Commanding Officer Col. Kenneth Ostrat, currently Mobilization Assistant to the Director of Integration and Innovation, Deputy Chief of Staff, US Air Force Futures Headquarters, Pentagon, Washington DC, was confirmed by the Senate for promotion and appointment to Brigadier General.
Beginning the third week of the month, the 908th welcomed approximately 20 members home after more than three months in Europe supporting U.S. European Command and U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Force operations in Africa.
August 15 saw another day in the history of the 908th. On this date in 1945, the 357th Bomb Squadron flew its last mission of World War II, which turned out to be one of the last missions of the entire war.
On Tuesday August 16, 2022, the 25th Aerial Port Squadron received a highline from the 910th Airlift Wing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio
The Chief of Air Force Reserve announced on Friday August 19, 2022 that Chief Master Sgt. Tracy Cornett, command chief Master Sgt. of the 908th Airlift Wing was chosen to become the new command chief Master Sgt. of the 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Cornett has been with the 908th since September 2019.
Towards the end of the month, the 908th remembered another significant day in the unit’s history on August 24, 1992, this time it was the 30th anniversary of members of the 357th Airlift Squadron and 25th Aerial Port Squadron deploying to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida to assist with recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.